NC Ag Commissioner on Hurricane Preparedness on the Farm
Its time for hurricane season to start once again.
“It begins Saturday and goes through November. This is a year when researchers at NC State are predicting above average hurricanes with up to 17 named storms forming in the Atlantic, and 7-10 cold become hurricanes.
Last year we had an easy year, but 2011 and hurricane Irene was a problem and we always need to be prepared. Farmers need to do some things to get their property secured for the season. I want to encourage farmers to review disaster plans. Planning right now can reduce the damage later on. We need to make plans for families, workers, equipment and the buildings and have back up plans for electricity and drinkable water.
Livestock, especially hogs and poultry are very susceptible to damage and they really need to have a good plan in place. We have to address the power needs that we have at these facilities and the on site feeding capabilities. We may need to relocate animals from low lying areas.
We are encouraging people to use an ear tag or some other identifier so the animals can be returned. The best prevention is to start now. Simple things like making sure you have a transfer switch on the generator. There are many things that are easy to do if you prepare now.
Our department created agricultural response team that can provide certain types of assistance to farmers after storms and we recently had a drill so they will be ready if a storm strikes. If we can just get a little bit of help to these farmers in the first hours after the storm we can see good results.”