Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator
Late winter is always a great time to review your Emergency Action Plan. Whether it’s a structure fire, traumatic farm injury, or natural disaster, being prepared can help reduce the potential for loss of life or property. An Emergency Action Plan should include:
- A list of emergency numbers that may be needed.
- Evacuation and shelter in place procedures.
- Procedures to shut down specific processes or equipment.
- Location of electrical disconnects, water or gas shut – offs, and fuel storage areas.
- Specifying locations of livestock facilities and relocation areas should they need to be moved.
- Identifying confined space areas such as grain bins, silos or manure pits and hazards associated with each one.
- Listing areas where chemicals, pesticides, paints, compressed gas cylinders or flammables are stored.
- Locating access points to water sources such as ponds, rivers or streams, in the event of a large structure fire.
- Identifying access points to the farmstead and to specific barns, buildings and structures.
- Determine the use any specialty equipment needed to access remote locations on the farm. Example: Tractor, 4x4 truck, ATV / UTV, or boat.
- Consider how emergency response could be affected by seasonal changes. (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter)
It is a good idea to involve your local fire department and emergency medical services provider. Ask if the local fire department could visit your facility to get familiar with the overall layout and general operation. This will give them the opportunity to identify any potential hazards or tactical approaches during emergency response and provide feedback on emergency planning.