A common remark heard across Nova Scotian conversations this year is “If all this rain we had over summer turns to snow, we’re in trouble!” And it might be true.
Winter storm preparedness is essential to any safe farming operation. A strong winter storm can knock out power, cause supply-chain interruptions, and pose physical safety concerns.
Before a storm, be sure that you have a backup power system in place. Complete a test run prior to the storm to ensure everything is in good working order. Keep plenty of extra fuel on hand in the event the power stays out for longer than expected. If you use a PTO generator, fill up any and all tractors before the storm. Never run a generator in an enclosed space.
Do you have a contingency plan for your staff? If the roads are impassible, it’s safer for them to stay home. If the weather deteriorates during the day, consider allowing them time to leave early. You may want to develop a storm policy for your farm workplace.
Consider both yours and your livestock’s needs in the event of businesses shutting down. Ensure that all medications are on hand and well stocked. If you use any purchased feeds, ensure that there is enough for a prolonged supplier interruption. If you ship your product regularly, keep viable storage space available if transportation is delayed. Make sure you have updated phone numbers so you can keep in contact with them on changes to scheduled pickups.
Items to keep on hand:
- Wind up or battery operated flashlights
- Wind up or battery operated radio
- Phone chargers
- Manual can opener
- A minimum of 3 day’s supply of personal medications
- Extra gas
- First aid kit
- Three-day non-perishable food and water supply
- Spare batteries
- Money in small bills
- Copies of important personal documents
- A list of important phone numbers
If you utilize a Farm Safety NS Farm Safety Plan , Section five has a contact information form that can be filled out and kept on hand in case of emergency.