Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator
Inclement weather is a part of spring in Ohio and being prepared is a means for preventing the worst outcome. Take a look at the loss of life in 2015 due to weather.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lays out a helpful preparedness list on their website. Tailoring it for the farm, here are some of the key components they included that you can enact before severe weather hits:
- Develop a disaster plan. The American Red Cross offers planning tips and information on a putting together a disaster supplies kit at: http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/be-red-cross-ready/get-a-kit
- Identify a safe place to take shelter.
- Know the county/parish in which you live or visit – and in what part of that county you are located. The National Weather Service issues severe weather warnings on a county/parish basis, or for a portion of a county/parish.
- Keep a highway map nearby to follow storm movement from weather bulletins.
- Have a NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards receiver unit with a warning alarm tone and battery back-up to receive warning bulletins. National Weather Service (NWS) watches and warnings are also available on the Internet. Select your local NWS office at: http://www.weather.gov
Having an established Emergency Action Plan for the farm is a great tool to have access to in weather emergency as well. The EAP should include information that encompasses contact names and numbers, escape routes, maps of the farm property and remote fields/locations, a livestock inventory, chemical storage locations and contents, electrical shutoffs, chains of command, utilities coming into the property and how to control, and any additional emergency resources specific to the operation. This is not an exhaustive list, but a good list to start you thinking about what to include in an EAP specific to your farm.