It’s hard to believe that it is nearly one year since Hurricane Irene devastated much of the East Coast, including here in Connecticut. As a result, the Department of Agriculture is urging all farmers to prepare themselves, their families, livestock and crops in case of emergency.
According to Wayne Kasacek, Assistant Director of the Bureau of Inspection and Regulation, “the first step in planning for a disaster is to determine what types of disaster could occur on your farm and with what frequency. Plan for emergencies that may affect your type of farming operation, livestock, or crops. Consider your location and possible hazards likely to occur, such as storm surge, wind damage, flooding, hazardous material spills on a highway or railroad, long-term electrical outage, or proximity to a nuclear power plant.”
In addition to reviewing your insurance needs and what you are presently covered for, you need to consider what you will need to protect your livestock. This includes everything from protecting your feed supply to making sure you have extra lumber to board up windows in barns, having generators to supply essential power needs, extra fuel for tractors and vehicles, as well as an ample supply of any medications they may require.
You also need to make sure that hazardous substances (e.g., pesticides, fertilizers, fuels,
medicines, other chemicals) are stored in protected areas.
In addition, it is a good idea to make sure you have a complete farm inventory, including the type of animals you keep (and how many of each), as well as your crops (type and acreage), along with all equipment used.
Keep a list of emergency phone numbers handy. This includes your veterinarian, Cooperative extension services, local emergency management, as well as how to contact your suppliers in an emergency.
Lastly, make sure your family and employees are informed about any emergency plans as well as where to find shelter-in-place or evacuation locations.
A good resource for guidance in many areas of emergency preparedness on farms can be found at http://www.prep4agthreats.org/All-Hazard-Preparedness/farm-emergency-pre….
Note: The Connecticut State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) monitors disaster response activities state wide and coordinates assistance to state and local authorities as necessary and appropriate. The Connecticut Department of Agriculture, as mandated in state disaster plans, provides staffing to the EOC when requested. Our primary role is monitoring foods produced on Connecticut farms and providing recommendations to protect human and animal health. They also provide support to local communities who shelter companion animals.
Form more information and for guidance in many areas of emergency preparedness on farms readers can check go to http://www.prep4agthreats.org/All-Hazard-Preparedness/farm-emergency-pre….