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Equine Evacuation Plan

Emergencies and disasters such as fires, blizzards, or floods are common risks in agricultural communities across Alberta. Emergencies most likely to necessitate the evacuation of horses at Square Butte Ranch could include out of control fires in nearby grasslands, forests, or structures. Less likely to necessitate evacuation, but still possibly requiring emergency plan implementation would be severe storms such as extreme wind, tornadoes, heavy rains, and blizzards. A well thought out plan can help us respond effectively, protect the animals, and help us cope with the stress of the emergency or disaster.

  • When an Evacuation Alert has been issued, or earlier (at the call of the Square Butte Ranch hand), all horses will be brought to an assigned pasture in proximity to the main north gate.

  • The Barn will be the Muster Point for the coordination of horse evacuation.

  • Ensure that feed, medications, and any other supplies required are ready to be transported with the horses. This includes a file containing all animal identification, health, and ownership records. This file should be available onsite, with copies stored offsite and digitally.

  • Ensure animals are each visually identifiable using the livestock marking pens found in the Ranch hand office. Animals will be marked with the Square Butte Ranch Brand and their individual number to ensure all horses are accounted for when they reach the designated refuge.

  • Safe transportation is essential. Training sessions will be held with all residents who make themselves available to practice haltering horses, loading horses into trailers, hooking up trailers, and transporting animals.

  • The Millarville Racetrack is a designated refuge location for Square Butte Ranch horses. The  Square Butte Ranch hand will contact Millarville emergency personnel (Melonie McKee 403-988-4142) to ensure they are aware that horses are coming, the numbers to expect, and any other information required by refuge site.

  • It is imperative that horse owners who make their own evacuation plans for their animals ensure the Square Butte Ranch hand, or their designate, is aware of this so that no staff or volunteers risk injury looking for animals that are no longer on the Ranch.

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