Hurricane season is officially upon us. If you have not yet done so, it is time to finish preparing your ag or livestock operation for a hurricane. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted an above-average hurricane season this year due to the continuing La Nina weather pattern and other factors. NOAA predicted 14 to 21 named storms and three to six major storms for the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Whether or not a major storm hits Florida this year, it’s a good idea to be prepared for a storm before one threatens your area, for both your home and your ag operation. UF/IFAS has recommendations for preparing your ag or livestock operation for the season.
Prepare Your Ag or Livestock Operation Now for a Hurricane
UF/IFAS recommendations for preparing your ag or livestock operation for a hurricane include:
- Create a list of important information, including the names and contact information for extended family, contact information for your veterinarian, information for employees and their families, and numbers for your local farm services agency office, utility company, and local county Extension office.
- Buy batteries for your flashlights and lanterns, making sure you have enough flashlights for each employee.
- Have enough feed on hand for your livestock and dogs and cats. Have enough hay, feed and health-care supplies on hand for one to two weeks, and make sure to store it somewhere dry.
- Make sure your generators are in working order and that you have fuel on hand to run them for one to two weeks.
- Test out chainsaws—necessary for clearing fallen limbs and debris—and that you have enough mixed fuel.
- Know where your chains and come-a-long for limb and tree removal are located.
- Purchase materials for protecting your outbuildings from storm damage, such as plywood for windows and doors, and buy repair materials, especially fence repair materials, now.
- Fix any damage on barns and outbuildings, paying special attention to the roof, and add hurricane straps to trusses if necessary.
It’s also important to have a plan in place if you have livestock, especially if an evacuation order is issued. Determining now who in your operation will do what and when avoids confusion before, during, and after the storm.
Hurricane season lasts through November, so it’s a good idea to get prepared as soon as possible and save your time and focus when a storm is forecast to hit Central Florida.
This column is sponsored by Griffin Fertilizer Co., and the opinions expressed herein may not reflect those of CFAN or of its advertisers.
BIO: Mike Roberts is the Vice President of the Frostproof, Fla.-based Griffin Fertilizer Co. Roberts joined the company in November 2011. He has spent the majority of his career in the fertilizer/agchem industry. Roberts earned a Bachelor of Science degree in citrus production from Florida Southern College in Lakeland. For more information, visit griffinfertilizer.com.