Preplanning for an emergency

In the midst of planning for the year ahead, one aspect that is often overlooked by farmers concerns health and safety.
Although time-consuming in some cases, preplanning for a farm emergency can be a lifesaving measure. Notwithstanding, statistics show few farms or farm families have an emergency plan in place.
Tawn Hall, emergency management director for Jackson County, said the top way to preplan for farm emergencies is having all emergency phone numbers, as well as maps and directions to all farmed property locations, in place for easy access if an emergency occurs.
“Farmers should make sure all emergency numbers, including the names and addresses of the nearest medical facilities, are posted where everyone can see them at all of the locations farmed,” Hall said. “And make sure the directions to your farm are posted by the phone or in a central location. Each farm should have at least one person trained in first aid and CPR and have designated safe places in the event of floods, tornadoes, lightning and fires.”
Hall also said farm workers should have a way to contact other workers in other areas of the farm site if there is an emergency, such as through charged cellphones or two-way radios.
Other plans for emergencies on farms should include having fire extinguishers easy to identify and retrieve in case of an emergency, as well as making sure they have been checked recently to ensure they are full; making sure all exits are clear of obstacles and plainly marked; having an emergency training program in place for all employees; and making sure to go over emergency training programs with all family members and employees annually.

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