There is a category 1 hurricane heading toward the southern New Jersey coast sometime Monday night — a path that could have devastating consequences for the state. Although it is still too early to determine Sandy’s precise long-term track, computer models are now trending to show impacts to the northeastern portion of the United States. The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CTDoAg) urges farmers and animal owners to prepare now for power outages and flooding.
Preparation check list for farmers and animal owners:
§ Check feed inventory and obtain extra feed now if needed. Move stored feed, including round hay bales to higher ground, or to a more accessible place in case of flooding or transportation problems.
§ Determine the best places for livestock on your property, where they have the best chance of being free from flying debris, heavy winds and rain. This may mean moving livestock and poultry to higher ground if possible or sheltering them in secured barns, houses or tightly fenced areas away from flooding areas.
§ All animals are identified, counted, described and recorded on an inventory list.
ü Power, Food & Water
§ Anticipate power outages. Check to see that your generator is in good working order. Consider purchasing a generator if you currently do not have one.
§ In the event you require a generator for emergency agricultural purposes (such as for milking cows, cooling milk tanks, poultry house ventilation etc.) contact your Town Officials for assistance. Make sure your house or barn has been wired so that a generator could be safely connected and used properly.
§ Purchase sufficient amounts of fuel to operate your generator and other equipment on the farm.
§ Charge batteries on cell phones and cameras.
§ Pump and store adequate supplies of drinking water for humans and animals. Have adequate food and medical supplies on hand. CTDoAg recommends a minimum 36-hour supply.
§ Secure or remove items or equipment that could become blowing debris.
§ Remove hoop houses from low-lying areas that could be subject to high water.
§ Move equipment to the highest, open ground possible away from trees or buildings.
§ Harvest standing crops if they are not in yet
§ Harvest vegetable crops that are still in the field.
§ Producers growing greenhouse crops should anticipate loss of water and prepare accordingly.
ü Contacts & Emergency Assistance Phone Numbers
§ Make a list of important phone numbers ahead of time in order to make calls following a storm. Numbers to include are your town Emergency Management contact, county extension agent, insurance agent, county Farm Service Agency and private veterinarian.
§ Who to call:
Ø Call 911 if you need immediate assistance from the police, fire department or ambulance.
Ø Farmers in need of Emergency Agricultural Assistance call Town Officials.
Ø For non-emergency resource assistance farmers should call 211.
Ø To report farm losses call USDA Farm Service Agency Phone (860) 871-4090
Ø To report damage to your home or barn call 1-800-621-FEMA.
Ø If you have any additional questions call the Connecticut Department of Agriculture at 860-713-2500.