From the tractor
by Agriculture Commissioner
I want to remind everyone that this is a good time to review your emergency preparedness plans on the farm and at home.
Forecasters are predicting fewer named storms this hurricane season, but it only takes one storm to ruin a crop or cause significant damage.
Having a plan, making sure everyone involved in your operation understands what to do, reviewing the plan and your insurance coverage annually will be helpful if a disaster strikes.
For most farming operations, power is essential. Consider purchasing, leasing or negotiating a rental arrangement for a backup generator in advance. If you plan to rent a generator, read the contract carefully, as some rental contracts only cover eight hours of use per day.
It is also important to have a transfer switch properly installed so you can use a generator. This is critical for the protection of farm facilities and utility workers.
If a hurricane is forecast for your area, it is advised to purchase additional fuel for vehicles and generators, and a hand fuel pump.
Having an equipped and functional emergency preparedness kit is also recommended. Items to include are fire extinguishers, first-aid kits, a camera that stamps date and time, flashlights and batteries. A NOAA weather radio and two-way radios can also be handy to stay informed and in contact with your workers.
Water and feed for animals is also essential.
These are just a few tips to consider. I hope it is an uneventful season, but it is better to be prepared than wishing you had taken the time to figure out what is necessary in an emergency.
Find more preparedness tips, information and a Farm Emergency Plan Template, at www.ncagr.gov/disaster.