The Caribbean Climate Outlooks prepared by the Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum (CariCOF) is forecasting an increase in the number of wet days, wet spells, heatwaves and tropical cyclone activity from August – October 2021, for the Caribbean. This is the peak period for the wet/hurricane season and frequent disruptions to outdoor activities and rising water levels in soils, rivers and reservoirs are very likely.
With flash flooding and long term flooding predicted, livestock farmers are encouraged to undertake preparatory work to minimize loss. Among the first activities should be to clear and maintain the drains around the animals’ housing and pastures and properly tag animals for easy identification. Safely store your animals’ records in a waterproof container. A better alternative would be to maintain digital copies.
Always keep abreast of weather updates, especially if the area you are operating in is flood prone. If flooding is imminent animals should be moved to higher grounds. Many times this will not always be possible, so it is advisable to leave animals to roam rather than keep them tethered. If the animals are being housed, then ensure proper ventilation is provided. Always secure feeds, medications and equipment at higher elevations.
Immediately after the floods, rescue, observe and treat animals for injuries and provide them with an adequate supply of clean feed and water. If mortality has been recorded, dead animals should be properly disposed. Do not feed animals forages and feeds contaminated by flood water. Observe for molds as these can cause the animals to get sick and also contaminate their meat and milk making it unsafe for human consumption. Survey the damage and take pictures and videos as these will be needed for claims submission. Always monitor the media for Government’s relief packages, as the window to apply for these are often very short.