Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Are you ready for a winter disaster?

By David Burton
University Extension

Packing a disaster kit is an easy way to help protect yourself and your family during inclement weather. However, you also need to pack a disaster kit for your farm to help protect your livestock and farm facilities.

During the winter, cold temperatures and icy road conditions make it extremely important to be prepared. That is why groups focused on safety recommend protecting yourself and your family by being prepared this winter.

“Having certain items on hand to protect your farm during a disaster is just good planning,” said Amanda Marney, an agriculture preparedness specialist with University of Missouri Extension.
“Remember that planning ahead can minimize damage to your livestock and property.”

To help you prepare, here is a quick review of both family disaster kits and farm disaster kits.

The important farm items are as follows:

Sandbags and plastic sheeting, in case of flood/possibility of water damage.
Wire and rope to secure objects.
Lumber and plywood to protect windows.
Extra fuel for tractors and vehicles. The fuel should be located in a safe location in a barn or outbuilding.
Hand tools.
Fire extinguishers should be located in all barns and in all vehicles.
Safe supply of livestock feed.
A generator in case of power failure.

Here is a list of supplies you should have available in your family disaster kit.

Water, and lots of it. At least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days.
Food - at least enough for 3 to 7 days, including non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices, foods for infants or the elderly, snack foods, non-electric can opener, cooking utensils / fuel, paper plates, plastic utensils.
Blankets / Pillows.
Clothing - seasonal, rain gear, sturdy shoes.
Medical supplies - first aid kit, medicines, prescription drugs.
Special Items - for infants and the elderly.
Toiletries - hygiene items.
Moisture wipes.
Flashlight - extra batteries.
Radio - battery-operated and NOAA weather radio.
Cash - (Banks and ATMs may not be open or available for extended periods).
Important documents - in a waterproof container (includes insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, social security card).
Toys, books and games.
Keep a set of tools with you during the storm.
Vehicle fuel tanks filled.
Pet care items (including proper identification, immunization records, ample supply of food and water, a carrier or cage, medications, muzzle and leash).

For more information on emergency preparation, contact Amanda Marney, an agriculture preparedness specialist with University of Missouri Extension, by telephone at (417) 461-1319 or (417) 461-1319 or by e-mail at marneya@missouri.edu.

Information can also be found on the agriculture preparedness webpage at www.aes.missouri.edu/swcenter and a video on how to pack a disaster kit can be found online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxGGUO1u3Q4.

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