For container nurseries, as with our homes, businesses, and other types of agricultural operations, good preparation can really make a difference for the better. With Hurricane Dorian preparing to make landfall in Florida, here are some suggested hurricane readiness tasks for container nurseries. Many of the same steps would be applicable to other agribusinesses as well.
A few days before hurricane arrival:
- Irrigate plants and empty water from reservoirs.
- If not already done, inspect and repair/remove any loose components on buildings and inspect ditches for drainage.
- Take plants down from benches.
- Weight down groundcloth.
- Gather fuel, cash, first aid, and other supplies.
- Fill potable water containers and label them.
- Print out key business documents, including payroll, inventory, insurance, nursery photographs, and emergency contact list(s); store the documents in a fire-safe and waterproof container.
- Charge batteries and, if not already done, service and test generators.
- Make sure your family and your employees’ families are prepared.
The day before hurricane arrival:
- Secure items, including trailers and mixing equipment. Trailers can be placed side by side to block wind; tractors can be placed in fields.
- Put portable generators in place.
- Remove greenhouse plastic and shade cloth.
- Dismantle irrigation risers.
- Lay down potted plants that are large, likely to break, and/or highly valuable; containers should be positioned into the wind.
- Highly valuable plants can also be placed into a protected space, like a shed, building, or enclosed trailer.
- Secure windows, doors, and greenhouse vents.
- Shut off gas, water, and electricity.
- Place computers in a safe and dry location and cover with plastic as added protection.
The tips above were excerpted from a publication by Dr. Tom Yeager, titled “Hurricane Preparation List for the Container Nursery”.