Disaster Preparedness: When Flood Waters Hit Close to Home
Earlier this week, our hearts sank as we watched torrential downpours ravage the Houston area, just a few hours drive from our headquarters in Austin, Texas. But the story that hit closest to home was the one about the 70 horses at a Cypress facility who were trapped in rising flood waters. We watched as local reports turned into national news. Heart-wrenching videos of the horses struggling to stay afloat streamed throughout our feeds. It was a situation truly unthinkable for any horse owner or animal lover.
When footage surfaced of horses swimming to safety with their rescuers, we began to breathe sighs of relief. One particularly emotional video showed a horse appear to give up until bystanders began to yell his name, which turned out to be just the encouragement he needed to keep fighting. In the days following, we were relieved to read reports that all of the horses were moved to higher ground and being cared for at a nearby facility. But there’s a nagging question left in our heads . . . “What if that had been my horse?”
We can never predict when emergencies will impact our lives. Swift-moving flood waters, wildfires, tornadoes, and other disasters can outpace our ability to respond to a disaster in an efficient manner. We recently wrote about the importance of preparing for barn emergencies, including outlining a procedure and evacuation plan. But can we do more to prepare our horses (and ourselves) for the worst?
Enter NIGHTWATCH®, the smart halter™ (optional safety collar) that alerts you at the first signs of danger or distress in your horse. Debuting in 2018, the new technology will give barn managers and horse owners alike the peace of mind to know that their horses are being monitored 24/7. NIGHTWATCH®’s advanced logic identifies and flags unusual or novel events that may warrant attention. And in the case of an emergency, quick responses equate to saved lives.