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Agricultural Review

Troxler advises farmers to prepare now for 2007 hurricane season

With forecasts calling for a busy hurricane season, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler reminds farmers to take necessary steps to help protect their farms if a storm strikes.

“As we’ve seen too many times, it only takes one major storm to ruin a farmer’s year,” Troxler said. “Planning is the key to reducing the potential damage from hurricanes and tropical storms.”

Hurricane season runs June 1-Nov. 30, and forecasts predict between 12 and 17 tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic.

Farmers need to make preparations for their families, crews, equipment and buildings, and have backup plans for electricity for their barns and other critical farm facilities, Troxler said. In addition, livestock operations should maintain emergency plans that address power and on-site feed needs.

Troxler said farmers should have a transfer switch properly installed so they can use a generator. A properly installed transfer switch is critical for the protection of farm facilities and utility workers, he said.

Troxler offered the following tips for preparing farms for major storms:

  • Store or secure items or equipment that might blow away;

  • Identify places to relocate animals from low-lying areas;

  • Check generators to be sure they are in good working order and secure a sufficient amount of fuel to operate them;

  • Turn off the propane supply at tanks;

  • Secure propane tanks in the event of flooding to prevent them from floating away;

  • Move equipment to the highest open ground possible away from trees or buildings that could cause damage.

  • Mark animals with an identifier so they can be easily returned if lost. Examples are ear tags with name of farm and phone numbers, brands, paint markings on hooves or coat or clipped initials in the hair.

  • Move feed to higher ground or to a more accessible place in case of flooding or transportation problems.

  • Coordinate with neighbors beforehand and discuss what resources can be shared. Examples include a backhoe or set of panels.

  • Keep a list of important phone numbers in order to make calls following a storm. Examples include the local emergency management office, county extension agent, insurance agent, county Farm Service Agency and private veterinarian.

  • Monitor local weather reports for up-to-the-minute information on storms.

In addition, pesticide applicators should look to secure their pesticide storage areas. Applicators in low-lying areas should do whatever they can to elevate or move pesticides to higher ground.

For more information, go to

NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Andrea Ashby, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3001; FAX: (919) 733-5047

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