April 27, 2022
Springtime usually brings concerns of tornadoes and severe weather. However, with continuing drought conditions, fears of wildfires may be high on producers’ minds. Fortunately, having an emergency preparedness plan can assist a cattlemen’s ability to respond to varying threats throughout the year. Developing a disaster plan is a good idea for both people and all the animals they care for on a farm or ranch.
The preparedness and response plan should be customized to the type of operation and possible threats. For instance, an element of a fire response plan would be the mechanics of relocating stock to a safer location. If not possible, a defensible area, that both people and animals could be moved to, would be designated. In advance, this area should be cleared of excess material with fire fueling potential, have perimeters established, and have ready access to water.
As part of the plan a livestock disaster preparedness kit should be developed. Elements of the kit should be accessible and in good working order.
Below are suggested items:
Truck and trailer
Halters, leads, and rope
Hay, feed, and water that can be transported
Non-perishable food items and water for personnel
Containers to feed and water
Trashcan with lid and trash bags
Livestock marking crayon and bright colored spray paint
Pocket knives, wire cutters/fencing pliers, hammer, shovel, and bolt cutters
Gloves and bandanas
Baling wire and duct tape
Flashlights with batteries
Radio with batteries
Backup phone chargers
First aid kit with medications and bandage material for humans and animals
Verifiable animal records, identification, and registration documents
Emergency contact numbers including veterinarian
Part of the disaster plan should outline communication of all personnel before, during, and after the threat. More than one travel route should be established when evacuation is required. This approach also allows safety of personnel to stay top-of-mind during a response. Regular review of the plan and training exercises are encouraged so all members of the family or team are on the same page and know when and where to report.
Farmers and ranchers are resilient people and understand the importance of preparing for all kinds of circumstances. Emergency preparedness well in advance of a threat allows producers to respond in a manner that minimizes losses and hopefully allows recovery to occur in a more timely and efficient manner. More emergency response and preparedness guidance can be found at www.extensiondisaster.net.
Source: Oklahoma State University, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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