"Hurricanes and tropical storms pose unique and potentially deadly threats to areas in their paths. While human safety is of upmost importance, we have learned valuable lessons from previous hurricanes about the importance of considering animals (pets and farm livestock) in disaster planning. Hurricanes bring a host of potential challenges for commercial poultry farmers. Having a farm emergency plan in place long before hurricane season arrives is not only smart, it also can have a direct effect on your farm’s profitability and long-term survival." - Climate Hubs, USDA
Make sure the farm's generators can handle a continuous full load with everything running
Check generators regularly throughout the year to ensure they work properly
If you have small chicks that need heat, make sure there is enough propane
Schedule a propane delivery ahead of the storm if necessary
Stock up on extra fuel for generators and other equipment
Make sure cell phones are fully charged
Have emergency contact numbers prepared and accessible
Take inventory of all equipment, supplies, and feed
Schedule a feed delivery ahead of the storm if necessary
Ensure drainage ditches and culverts around poultry houses are clear of debris and can carry away the maximum amount of water
Do what you can to keep birds protected from the storm
Nail down and secure roofing, windows, door, siding materials, etc. to ensure nothing will blow open or away
Secure farm equipment and machinery
Backup important documents
Put important documents into waterproof containers and store in a secure location
Be prepared to evacuate if necessary
DO NOT wait until disaster strikes to find out you are insufficiently covered.
Did you know that 92% of Contract Poultry Growers are underinsured and could not recover from a major disaster? Every year family poultry farms go bankrupt because of some sort of catastrophic event after which they realized their insurance programs were woefully insufficient. Do not let this happen to you. Make sure to prepare your farm AND your insurance for disasters.
Click here for the full newsletter from the USDA on tips to prepare poultry producers for hurricanes.
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