UF Experts: Prepare Your Farm Early for Hurricane Season
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – It’s the beginning of hurricane season, time for farmers in Florida to worry about potential damage from a storm. Every farm and ranch in Florida must have an emergency plan in case of a hurricane, said a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension director.
“The main thing is that farmers need to be prepared to be self-sufficient for a more than a week if a storm hits,” said Doug Mayo, center director of UF/IFAS Extension Jackson County. “It’s best to prepare now for a hurricane because this can minimize confusion and delays.”
Mayo offered the following tips:
- Create a printed list of extended family, veterinarian, employees and their families, your local farm services agency office, utility company and local county Extension office.
- Purchase batteries for flashlights and lanterns. Have enough flashlights ready for each employee. June 1 to 7 is the state’s designated week for hurricane prep tax-free shopping. This would be a great time to stock up on supplies.
- Stock up on feed for animals receiving supplemental feeds. Don’t forget the cat and dog food. Have enough hay, feed and health-care supplies on hand for one to two weeks. Feed stores may not be open for business for a week or more after a storm.
- Check to ensure generators are ready and in working order for livestock operations that rely on electricity for milking parlors, chicken houses, wells for watering livestock and electric fence chargers.
- Make sure chainsaws are in good working order and stock up on mixed fuel.
- Locate chains and come-a-long for limb and tree movement off fences and buildings.
- Stock up on fence repair materials: wire, posts and staples for repairing fences damaged by limbs and trees.
The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS works to bring science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents. Visit the UF/IFAS website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.