Farmers are wise to prepare for winter storms as well as other emergencies. Here are some tips provided by Iowa State University’s Center for Food Security and Public Health.
- What disasters or hazards are most likely in your community? For your farm?
- How would you be warned?
- How should you prepare for each?
- Learn the warning systems for your community.
- Are you able to hear or see the appropriate warning from your farm?
- Stay alert for emergency broadcasts, such as the Emergency Alert System broadcasts on radio or television, NOAA weather radio alerts, and other news sources — radio, television or internet.
Put it in writing
Put together an emergency supply kit for your family. Draw a farm site map and indicate:
- Buildings and structures
- Access routes (e.g., roads, lanes)
- Barriers (fences, gates)
- Locations of livestock
- Locations of all hazardous substances
- Electrical shutoff locations, etc.
Make a list of your farm inventory, include:
- Livestock (species, number of animals)
- Crops (acres, type)
- Machinery and equipment (make, model #)
- Hazardous substances (e.g., pesticides, fertilizers, fuels, medicines, other chemicals)
Keep a list of emergency phone numbers:
- Your local and state veterinarian
- County Extension service
- Local emergency management
- Insurance agent
Make a list of suppliers or businesses providing services to your farm:
- Livestock or milk transport, feed delivery, fuel delivery, etc.
Contact your insurance agent to:
- Review your insurance coverage.
- Get additional coverage for “all-hazard” situations (e.g., flood, hail damage).
Stockpile supplies needed to protect the farm:
- Sandbags and plastic sheeting, in case of flood
- Wire and rope to secure objects
- Lumber and plywood to protect windows
- Extra fuel for tractors and vehicles
- Hand tools for preparation and recovery
- Fire extinguishers in all barns and all vehicles
- A safe supply of feed for livestock
- A gas-powered generator
- Identify areas (e.g., higher elevation) to relocate your assets — livestock, equipment, feed, grain, hay and chemical — if needed.
- Remove or secure any loose equipment or materials, such as lumber or fuel tanks.
- Keep them informed of the farm’s emergency plan; review it with them regularly.
- Identify shelter-in-place or evacuation locations.
- Establish a phone tree with contact information for all employees.