10 Preparation Tips for Farm and Agribusiness Safety
Mother Nature can be relentless and each season comes with its own threats. For those working in the farm and agribusiness industry, these weather challenges can be particularly devastating and cause significant losses.
The key to minimizing damage and ensuring safety is PREPARATION. In this blog post, we’ll provide 10 preparation tips farmers should implement 365 days a year to prepare for severe weather conditions.
1. Stay Informed 2. Have an Emergency Plan 3. Secure Equipment and Structures 4. Stockpile Emergency Supplies 5. Practice Regular Fire Drills 6. Develop a Livestock Safety Plan 7. Work Your Land Wisely 8. Implement Fire Prevention Measures 9. Cultivate Communication 10. Maintain Adequate Insurance Coverage
1. Stay Informed
Keep an eye on weather forecasts and alerts. Technology has made it easier than ever to receive timely updates, so make sure you're informed about upcoming weather events.
2. Have an Emergency Plan
Develop a comprehensive emergency plan for your farm or agricultural operation. This should include evacuation routes, shelter locations, and contact information for emergency services. Make sure all personnel are aware of the safety plan and know what to do.
3. Secure Equipment and Structures
Ensure that all equipment, machinery, and structures on your farm are well-maintained and secure. Loose objects can become dangerous projectiles in strong winds. With proper maintenance, farms and agribusinesses reduce their risk of catastrophic losses. For example, by regularly inspecting and reinforcing the fastenings on barns and storage sheds, you can prevent them from being torn apart during a powerful storm.
4. Stockpile Emergency Supplies
Keep a supply of emergency items on hand, including food, water, first-aid kits, flashlights, and batteries. These essentials can be a lifeline during power outages or isolation.
5. Practice Regular Drills
Practice your emergency plan with your family, employees, and neighbors through regular drills. Familiarity with the plan can save precious time during a crisis. Pro tip: LABEL emergency equipment, such as the generator transfer switch, and ensure any personnel who may have to use it know how to do so safely.
6. Develop a Livestock Safety Plan
Have a plan in place for the safety and care of your livestock during extreme weather events. This may include moving animals to higher ground or providing shelter.
7. Work Your Land Wisely
The vegetation surrounding your structures and equipment can either help or hinder you in an emergency situation. For example, a large tree directly next to a poultry house increases the likelihood of catastrophic losses during a tornado. Dense, tall vegetation surrounding barns is a liability during a wildfire. Building on clay or mud with no drainage or grass can lead to flooding and erosion.
Vegetation maintenance is an important factor that is commonly overlooked. See below for examples of “good vegetation” versus “bad vegetation.”
8. Implement Fire Prevention Measures
Take steps to reduce the risk of wildfires by maintaining vegetation near structures and having firefighting equipment ready. This includes maintaining and testing your fire suppression systems to ensure they will function properly in a crisis. In agricultural facilities, agribusiness professionals should adhere to the NFPA 25 maintenance, inspection, and testing requirements for fire suppression systems. Learn more about Fire Pump Maintenance Requirements and Sprinkler and Pipe Inspections.
9. Cultivate Communication
Establish a communication network with neighboring farms and local emergency services. Collaborate on disaster response plans and share information during emergencies.
10. Maintain Adequate Insurance Coverage
Review your insurance policies regularly to ensure they adequately cover your farm against weather-related damages. Make any necessary adjustments to your coverage. Work with a reputable farm and agribusiness insurance company that has the expertise to understand the unique challenges and complexities involved in farm and agribusiness operations.
While we can't control the weather, we can control how well-prepared we are to face its challenges. By following these 10 quick tips, you can increase your farm and agribusiness operation's resilience to severe weather events. Remember that safety should always be your top priority, and with proper preparation, you can weather the storm and protect your livelihood. Stay safe, stay prepared, and stay resilient in the face of Mother Nature's worst.
Agribusiness Risk Underwriters specializes in delivering farm and agribusiness insurance solutions to “hard-to-place” accounts such as livestock confinement, cotton gins, agricultural processing, warehouses, and more. Learn more about our poultry insurance products - Poultry Express and Poultry Plus. For a reliable farm / ag property market with up to $25 million per occurrence limits, discover Flex.
**PLEASE NOTE THAT ARU MARKETS OUR PRODUCTS ONLY THROUGH LICENSED INSURANCE BROKERS. WE ARE NOT ABLE TO PROVIDE QUOTES OR INSURANCE GUIDANCE FOR FARM OWNERS**
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