The month of June has just arrived and with it marks the start of the hurricane season. For farmers and other agricultural workers, this time of year can bring a sense of dread and anxiety. After all, their livelihoods depended on the weather and a severe storm could easily destroy months of hard work in a matter of hours. But what exactly should farm owners do to get ready for a hurricane? In this post, we’ll go through some tips on what you can do to prepare your farm for hurricane season as well as what to do during and after the storm.
States Usually Affected by Hurricanes
The first step in preparing for hurricane season is to understand which states are most at risk. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the states that are most frequently hit by hurricanes are Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. These states make up what is known as the Gulf Coast region and they are typically the ones that experience the most damage from these storms.
Of course, just because a state isn’t on this list doesn’t mean that it can’t be affected by a hurricane. In fact, any state along the East Coast or in the Gulf of Mexico is at risk of being hit by a tropical storm or hurricane. This is why it’s important for everyone, not just those in the Gulf Coast region, to be prepared for this time of year.
What You Can Do to Prepare for a Storm
There are a few steps that you can take to help prepare your farm for hurricane season. Here are some of the most important things to do:
1. Know Your Local Flood Zones
The first step is to find out if your farm is located in a flood zone. This information can be found on your county’s website or through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). If your farm is located in a flood zone, it’s important to have a plan in place in case of flooding. This may include moving your animals to higher ground or elevating your crops.
2. Have a Plan for Your Animals
If you have livestock, it’s important to have a plan for them in case of a hurricane. This may include evacuating them to a safe location or ensuring that they have enough food and water to last for a few days. If you decide to evacuate your animals, make sure to do so well in advance of the storm so that you don’t get stranded.
3. Make Sure Your Buildings are Secure
Another important step is to make sure that your buildings are secure. This may include boarding up windows and doors or securing outdoor equipment. It’s also a good idea to have a supply of sandbags on hand in case of flooding.
4. Have a Supply of Non-Perishable Food and Water
It’s also important to have a supply of food and water that will last for a few days. This is especially important if you have to evacuate your farm. Make sure to include items that don’t require cooking, such as canned goods, granola bars, and peanut butter. It’s also a good idea to have a few gallons of water per person.”
5. Gather the Necessary Documents and Supplies
Finally, make sure to gather all of the necessary documents and supplies that you’ll need in case of an emergency. This may include your insurance policy, a list of your animals, and important contact information. You should also have a first-aid kit and a supply of medicine on hand.
By following these steps, you can help to ensure that your farm is ready for hurricane season. However, it’s also important to be aware of what to do during and after the storm.
What to Do During the Storm
If a hurricane is heading your way, there are a few things that you should do to stay safe. Here are some tips:
1. Monitor the Weather Conditions
The first step is to closely monitor the weather conditions. This can be done by watching the news or checking online. It’s important to know when the storm is expected to hit as well as its projected path. This information will help you decide whether or not to evacuate your farm.
2. Secure Your Animals and Buildings
If you decide to stay on your farm during the storm, it’s important to secure your animals and buildings. This may include moving your animals to a safe location, such as a barn, and securing any loose items around your property. It’s also a good idea to have a supply of food and water on hand in case you lose power.
3. Evacuate If Necessary
If the storm is expected to be severe, it’s important to evacuate your farm. This may include moving your animals to a safe location and securing your buildings. Make sure to leave well in advance of the storm so that you don’t get stranded.
What to Do After the Storm
Once the storm has passed, there are a few things that you should do to assess the damage and begin the recovery process. Here are some tips:
1. Inspect Your Property for Damage
The first step is to inspect your property for any damage. This may include checking for structural damage, such as fallen trees, and assessing any damage to your crops. If you have livestock, it’s also important to check on their well-being. Check if they got any injuries during the storm or if they need medical attention.
2. Contact Your Insurance Company
Storms usually result in some type of damage, so it’s important to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Look over your policy to see what is covered and begin the claims process. Insurance companies usually have a team of adjusters who will come to your property to assess the damage.
3. Begin the Cleanup Process
Once you’ve assessed the damage, it’s time to begin the cleanup process. This may include removing debris, repairing any damage, and replanting crops. It’s important to take your time and follow all safety guidelines.
4. Recovery Can Be a Slow Process
Recovering from a hurricane can be a slow and difficult process. It’s important to be patient and take things one step at a time. Seek out help from family, friends, and community resources if needed. And most importantly, don’t give up!
Prepare Your Farm for Hurricane Season
No one knows when or where a hurricane will hit, but by taking some steps to prepare your farm, you can help minimize the damage. One of the best things that you can do to prepare your farm for any type of calamity is by making sure that your farm is built to withstand high winds. This means that your buildings should be constructed with hurricane-resistant materials, such as concrete, and that they should be anchored to the ground. It’s also important to have a plan in place for what to do with your animals during a storm. If you evacuate, make sure that you have a safe place to take them.
While these things are great for preparedness, they might cost some money upfront. But, if a hurricane hits your farm, the money that you’ve spent on preparation will pale in comparison to the amount of money it would cost to replace your buildings or animals. So, don’t wait until a storm is heading your way to start preparing!
Let Farm Plus Financial Help You Prepare for Hurricane Season
At Farm Plus Financial, we understand the unique challenges that farmers face. That’s why we offer various loan programs that can help you prepare your farm for hurricane season. Whether you need money to buy hurricane-resistant materials or to evacuate your animals, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about our loan programs and how we can help you prepare for hurricane season!