Whatever your farm operation, all farms need a plan to be prepared for when a disaster hits. No matter the size of your farm, preparing your farm is better with a plan. When making your plan, take these tips into consideration so you can be ready.
Most farms in Fayette County will not be close enough to hear the outdoor warning sirens. Make sure you can be alerted in multiple ways such as the BeReadyLexington app, and LEXALERTS for mobile and email. Visit BeReadyLexington.com to download and signup. And have a battery backup weather radio. If you have farm employees, make sure they can be alerted too, and know what to do and who to contact. Here are all the ways Lexington Emergency Management works to make sure you know about emergency situations.
Build Your Kits
Emergency kits need items that are familiar, simple, portable, and fresh. These items include bottled water, canned or prepackaged food such as energy bars, spare medications, and medical records, emergency radio and flashlights with extra batteries for both, and cash in $1 and $5 bills. Equine and livestock kits are similar. Extra feed, hay, and water. Veterinarian contact information with vaccine records, and tags or ID for each animal. Don’t forget your cats, dogs, and other pets as these kits are similar as well.
Prepare Your Farmstead
First, contact your insurance agent to make sure you’re covered for what you need. Make a map of the property, identifying hazardous substances such as fuel, chemicals, and pesticides. Also, track the locations of your animals, machinery with the year, make and model numbers. Without risking your life, you may be able to move yourself, animals, and machinery to higher elevations. If so, identify these locations too. Make sure your stockpile of supplies such as fuel, plywood for windows, and fire extinguishers in all barns and vehicles are clearly marked on your map.
These tips are a start. Take more action and get your plan off the ground with this general checklist.