Ga Dept of Agriculture


Hurricane Matthew Response, Cleanup, and Recovery

Hurricane Matthew is a powerful storm that impacted coastal Georgia last week. The Georgia Department of Agriculture watched this storm very carefully and reacted as necessary to the impact on Georgia's Agriculture.


Emergency Preparedness

The current track of Hurricane Matthew has it threatening coastal Georgia. This dangerous storm brings a potential of high winds and lots of rain, both which could potentially impact our Georgia Animal Industry. Below are some tips on how to Be Prepared.

  1. Ensure you stay informed and follow emergency instructions given by your local and state Emergency Management Associations.
  2. Have a plan ahead of time - To ensure the safety of family, pets, livestock and home;
  3. Provide good maintenance for your facility – This will reduce structural damage;
  4. Have a generator of sufficient size to provide for your vital needs – power outages can occur;
  5. Fill the fuel tanks – Have all fuel tanks full with extra available for generators, vehicles, tractors, chainsaws, etc.– Store fuel and equipment out of reach of the weather so it will not get flooded;
  6. Test the generator and equipment before you need it – Run it;
  7. Have extra batteries for flashlights and radios and charge the mobile phone;
  8. Flying debris from hurricane winds can cause major damage – Make sure equipment inside and outside the house is stored away or secured (i.e. wheelbarrows, loose pump houses, pallets, lumber, etc.);
  9. Ensure your pets and livestock are safe – Make plans ahead of time – Feed, water, housing, transportation, destination, expenses;
  10. Fill feed tanks, bins, feed lines and water tanks full ahead of the storm, and then turn the power off until the storm passes - Seal feed bin lids to prevent admitting water. Raise food and water 4-5 feet if flooding is a possibility. Be prepared to ration the feed you have - Road closures may delay feed truck deliveries and your ability to get supplies;
  11. Have wheelbarrows and buckets available to deliver feed and water by hand;
  12. Reinforce the openings – Doors, windows, etc;
  13. After the storm, check on animals and property for damage - Ventilation, water supply, feed supply, structural repairs should be assessed in that order;
  14. An evacuation for several days can be detrimental for animals left behind - Develop a plan that outlines options to handle mortality;
  15. The Georgia Department of Agriculture, Animal Industry, can assist with coordination of your animal needs – We work with Emergency Management, rescue groups and private volunteer groups – If you need assistance, please call the contact numbers below:

Animal Health – Assistant State Veterinarian - 404-656-3667 - animal movement/animal disease
Livestock/Poultry – 404-656-3665 – livestock - cattle, goats, sheep, poultry, pigs, ratites, camelids
Companion Animal/Equine Health – 404-6563713/404-656-4914 - dogs, cats, birds, pets, horses

Robert M Cobb Jr DVM
State Veterinarian
Division Director of Animal Industry

Companion Animal


Equine Health

Mat Thompson - Manager
Tel: 404-656-3713 Fax: 404-463-2128

Emergency Stalls available for Horse Evacuation in Georgia- Hurricane Matthew


  • Southeastern Arena Unadilla Ga has 175 stalls contact Bob 478-627-2727
  • Circle Double S Stock Yard Hazlehurst Ga. has 20 stall available contact Steve Underwood 912-253-0747
  • Wiregrass Arena in Nicholls Ga has room at the moment for 22 more horses contact for availability 912-345-0133
  • Southern Pines Dublin Georgia has 40 stalls still available contact for availability 478-463-6006 Bryan
  • Georgia Sports Arena in Swainsboro Ga has 150 stall available 478-455-0999 Karen is the contact person
  • Regina Wells Tifton Animal Control 2293827387
  • Carol Rathell Albany , can take 3 horses 2294389043

Emergency Stalls available for Horse Evacuation in Georgia - PDF
Emergency Equine Stable List October 4 2016 - Excel Download

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Livestock & Poultry

Livestock & Poultry

Daniel Duncan - Manager
19 MLK, Jr. Drive, Room 112
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Tele: 404-656-3665
Tele: 404-656-9383
email -


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Food Safety

Food Safety

Natalie Adan - Division Director
Tele: (404) 656-3627
Email -

GDA Food Safety Consumer & Industry Alert #1

Hurricane Food Safety

The current track of Hurricane Matthew represents a major threat to coastal Georgia, which should not be underestimated. This dangerous storm brings the potential for very high winds, heavy rains, and flooding, all of which could cause power outages, injury, and other damage. In preparation, all Georgians and Southeast coastal residents are encouraged to review the tips below:

Safety Plan

Power Outages


  • Make sure that you have appliance thermometers in your refrigerator and freezer.

    • Freezer temperature should be at or below 0 °F
    • Refrigerator should be at or below 40 °F
  • Freeze containers of water for ice to help keep food cold in the freezer, refrigerator, or coolers in case of a power outage.
  • Group food together in the freezer. This will help food stay colder longer.
  • Buy dry or block ice to keep the refrigerator cold if the power is going to be out for a prolonged amount of time.

During power outage:

  • Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature. A refrigerator without power will keep food cold for about 4 hours if unopened.

    Once power is restored:

    • When in doubt, throw it out!
    • Check the temperature of the thermometer once the power comes back on. If the freezer thermometer reads 40 °F or below, the food is safe and may be refrozen.
    • If a thermometer was not kept in the freezer, check each package of food. Do not rely on the food's appearance or odor. If the food in the freezer contains ice crystals or is 40 °F or below, it is safe to refreeze or cook.
    • Refrigerated food should be safe as long as the power was out for no more than 4 hours and the refrigerator door was kept shut. Discard any perishable food that has been at temperatures above 40 °F for more than 2 hours.


    • Because flooding may compromise the water supply, your water distributor (city/county) may issue a Boil Water Advisory. Follow the advisory's directions and/or use bottled water for drinking and things like brushing your teeth. If you are unsure how your water supply is being affected, use bottled water.
    • Do not eat food that has come into contact with flood water; discard any food or beverage that is not in a waterproof container, if there is any chance it came into contact with flood water:

      • Waterproof food containers include undamaged, commercially prepared foods in all-metal cans and "retort pouches" (flexible, shelf-stable juice or seafood pouches).
      • Food containers that are NOT waterproof include those with screw-caps, snap lids, pull tops, and crimped cans.
      • Discard of food or beverages in cardboard boxes as well as home canned foods if they have come into contact with flood water, because they cannot be effectively cleaned and sanitized.
      • Discard any damaged cans, include those with swelling, leakage, punctures, holes, fractures, extensive deep rusting, or denting severe enough to prevent normal stacking or opening with a manual, wheel-type can opener.

      • Thoroughly wash metal pans, ceramic dishes, utensils and countertops/food prep surfaces with soap and hot water. Rinse and then sanitize by applying a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water. Let air dry.
      For additional tips, please visit: and the GDA's main website at For the latest in emergency updates, please visit,, or Twitter @GeorgiaEMA.

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Richard Lewis - Division Director
Tele: (404) 656-3605
Fax:  (404) 656-9648

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