NC Commissioner Troxler: Plan Now for Hurricanes

North Carolina is no stranger to hurricanes and tropical storms, so being prepared and reviewing your emergency plans with family and workers before a storm hits is important.

  • North Carolina farmers are dealing with so much right now – high fuel costs, fertilizer costs through the roof, dry conditions, supply chain issues just to name a few.
  • There’s so much going on that hurricanes and tropical storms quite frankly may not be on their radar.
  • But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be.
  • We have officially entered hurricane season in North Carolina, and our state has had more than its fair share of them over the years.
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting an above average season, but I hope they are wrong.
  • Predictions of a busy season is one of the reasons why I encourage farmers every year to review their emergency plans with workers and anyone involved in their farming operation.  
  • Be sure everyone involved in your operation knows where to meet and make sure that preparation and recovery duties are prioritized and assigned.
  • This allows your team to quickly get to work before and after a storm.
  • Flooding after storms has been especially problematic in the past. Areas that have not been known to flood, have flooded, so having a good flood plan in place is necessary.
  • Work is underway throughout North Carolina to remove debris along waterways and streams through the Streamflow Rehabilitation Assistance Program. This is in an effort to help remove obstacles from waterways that slow down the flow of water following storms.
  • We have a lot of work to do in this area as a state, but this program is a proactive measure. ($38 million in funding from the N.C. General Assembly. Program is overseen by the state’s Soil and Water Conservation Commission, working closely with the Division of Soil and Water Conservation within the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.)
  • Being prepared on the farm is also a proactive measure. Some steps you can take on the farm include clearing debris from drainage ditches so water can flow freely.
  • Identify high ground on your farm to move livestock and equipment to.
  • Move livestock off the farm prior to a storm if options are available for that.
  • Have photos of valuables items stored off site. Store all business records above flood level.
  • It’s always a good idea to have important phone numbers handy following a storm. Cell phones help make that easier but be sure you have the contact number for county extension agents, insurance agents, the county Farm Service Agency and your private veterinarian.
  • We have a lot of additional resources and guides on our updated Emergency Programs page. You can check out that information at www.ncagr.gov/oep/
  • It is my hope that the preparation and the review of your farm’s emergency plan is just a good reminder and is not needed this year.