As Hurricane Sandy moves up the Eastern seaboard, we advise all of our producer members to please plan and prepare accordingly for the effects of the storm. At this time, there is still uncertainty in the exact expected track of Hurricane Sandy and the eventual nor'easter the storm will become. There is growing confidence that areas of Virginia, mainly Eastern Virginia and Northern Virginia will feel impacts, especially along the coast and bay.
The rainfall forecast amount may increase based on storm track, and flooding from rainfall is likely in coastal areas. Tropical Storm force winds are likely, and the probability of 60 mph winds along the coast has also increased. Areas close to the Bay/ocean will likely experience trees and power lines down, including possible power outages Sun-Tue.
The amount of wind and rain inland, including the I-95 corridor, will depend on storm track and intensity. Changes in forecast track will result in changes to predicted rainfall and winds, so maintain vigilance of the latest forecast information.
Regardless of exact track, this will be a long lived event especially for areas along the coast and bay where winds and rain will persist from Sun into Tue. We encourage you to take the appropriate precautions and prepare your farm for the impending storm. Visit the NWS Wakefield website for forecast updates. We wish you the best and will continue to provide information on the impending storm and its impact.
VGPA urges all farmers to prepare for hurricane related structural or crop damage, power outages, and insurance claims. VDACS and The Virginia Department of Emergency Management already warning citizens of Sandy's approach, and the time is now to prepare your farm.
"At this point Sandy's path is still uncertain," said Matthew J. Lohr, VDACS Commissioner, "but farmers need to pay close attention and start preparing their farms NOW as the storm begins its path up the East Coast. It appears that Sandy will not be a hit-and-run storm but one that could last from Sunday through Wednesday and even beyond. That makes preparation now even more important."
Your long-range preventive measures should include: reviewing insurance policies, debt level and finances. Please ensure you have adequate insurance coverage for homes, vehicles, farm buildings and structures, crops and flood damage.
Farmers should develop an emergency plan for their families and farm workers, and should establish a meeting place where everyone can gather after a disaster. This will allow you to assign and prioritize preparation and recovery duties immediately after the storm.
Short-range preparations should begin now, even though Sandy's path is still somewhat uncertain. These include:
Monitoring local weather reports for up-to-the-minute information on the storm.
Charging batteries on cell phones and cameras.
Storing or securing items that may blow away or blow into structures, including lawn furniture and light equipment.
Checking generators & vehicles ensure they are in good working order and purchasing sufficient fuel to operate them.
Moving equipment to the highest, open ground possible away from trees or buildings.
Pumping and storing adequate supplies of drinking water for humans and animals in the case of power outages. VDACS recommends a minimum 36-hour reserve.
Checking the security of roofing materials, siding and windows and doors in barns and poultry houses to make sure they will not blow off or blow open in strong winds.
Coordinating with neighbors beforehand to discuss what resources can be shared in the event of power outages or flooding.