Develop an Emergency Plan for your Farm or Ranch March 4, 2020 From severe weather to unexpected accidents, disaster can strike at any time. Having a plan in place for your farm or ranch during an emergency can help ensure your livelihood is protected, no matter the size of your operation. Follow these guidelines to make sure you’ve addressed the basics for your emergency preparedness plan. Implement Emergency Routes and Farm Information An escape plan is necessary to inform workers about how to evacuate the area, what the designated meeting place is and how to account for all people. It is also important to create and keep up-to-date a comprehensive map of the property that shows the locations of buildings, hazardous materials, large machinery, animal pens, electric sources, etc. You’ll want to have a way to receive emergency alerts and warnings in case of inclement weather or natural disasters. Create Call Lists Create a call list that includes all emergency phone numbers. Include employees, neighboring farmers/ranchers, family members, veterinarians, local police/fire/EMT, and food/water resource providers for animals. Keep it posted and in your phone so you can use it in a moment’s notice. Ensure employees also have a copy of the list. Have an Evacuation Plan It’s important to have an evacuation plan for livestock in the event of severe storms, floods or fires on the property. When moving livestock, make sure to plan for enough time to transport. Include food/water provisions for relocating large animals – you’ll want to aim for about a week’s supply of provisions to start with. If your animals will be sharing space with livestock from other farms or ranches, be sure they are up-to-date on vaccinations and are easily identifiable from other animals. Create a Farm Safety Kit A farm safety kit can be a huge help during an emergency. This is especially helpful if you or your workers are caught where it may take emergency responders longer to reach. In the kit, be sure to include the emergency call list (mentioned above), bandages, antibiotic ointment, aspirin, cold packs and heating packs, bottles of water, snacks, flashlights, work gloves, protective eyewear, etc. Create and place several of these kits at various buildings/stations across the property. Be sure to clearly note the safety kit locations on the farm map, mentioned above. After outlining these key items, inform everyone who may be involved or impacted by the plans. Employees and family members should be aware of what they need to do in the case of an emergency. They also need the necessary items to act in a moment’s notice. Ensure your farm or ranch has protection it needs with a Farm & Ranch Insurance policy. Contact an agent today to see how much coverage you may need.