Flooding and farming
Preparing for floods
If you have a livestock farm, you will need to think not only about your family and house, but also your livestock. Make a flood plan to protect your property, your facilities and your animals.
Issues you might think about when creating the plan for your livestock might include:
- Create a list of emergency telephone numbers, including those of your employees, neighbours, veterinarian, state veterinarian, poison control, local animal shelter, animal care and control, local Teagasc office, trailering resources.
- Include a contact person outside the farm. Make sure all this information is written down and that everyone in your family has a copy.
- Make sure every animal has durable and visible identification.
- Ensure that poultry have access to high areas in which to perch, if they are in a flood-prone area, as well as to food and clean water.
- Perform regular safety checks on all utilities, buildings, and facilities on your farm.
- Remove all barbed wire and consider rerouting permanent fencing so that animals may move to high ground in a flood.
- Install a hand pump and obtain enough large containers to water your animals for at least a week (municipal water supplies and wells are often contaminated during a flood).
- Identify alternative water and power sources. A generator with a safely stored supply of fuel may be essential, especially if you have electrical equipment necessary to the well being of your animals.
- Secure or remove anything that could be floated and move about; make a habit of securing trailers, propane tanks and other large objects. If you have boats, feed troughs or other large containers, fill them with water. This prevents them from floating away and also gives you an additional supply of water.
- If you use heat lamps or other electrical machinery, make sure the wiring is safe and that any heat source is clear of flammable debris.
- Label hazardous materials and place them all in the same safe area. Provide local fire and rescue and emergency management authorities with information about the location of any hazardous materials on your property.