June is the start of the six month hurricane season, and though the Texas Gulf Coast has not seen a major storm in nine years (Hurricane Ike), you never know when the next storm will hit. Here at Shoppa’s Farm Supply, we want you to be safe this season. I have gathered some tips that will help prepare you for a future storm.
When your area comes under a storm watch defined as storm conditions possible within the next 48 hours, or a storm warning defined as storm conditions are expected within 36 hours, making sure your family is safe and ready for the storm is your number one priority! Be prepared with:
- Disaster Supply Kit – including:
- First aid kits
- Two weeks’ worth of non-perishable food and water, in case you are flooded in or power lines are down.
- Copies of critical information such as birth certificates, social security cards, bank information, proof of insurance, etc. all in case of an evacuation.
- Alert System – Be sure your family has some type of method to receive alerts on the storm such as text, email or radio. Check your county’s website to see if they have an email or text alert system.
- Communications plan – Having walkie-talkies or cell phones allow for easy communications between family members, and to let them know where you are at.
- Generator – A portable generator, like the John Deere AC-G3010H Small Frame Generator, can allow you to supply electricity to keep smaller electronic devices powered through the storm.
Once your family is safe, prepare your property and livestock. Keep in mind:
- Trees – Dead limbs or trees can fall down and cause property damage if not removed. Prepare yourself by keeping trees trimmed and removing any dead trees from the property, no matter the size. Trimming could also reduce your chances of down power lines that were a result of falling branches.
- Water damage – Clear out ditches and rain gutters. If clogged, water could rise and flood fields, cause water damage to barns and homes along with road damage.
- Down fences – Check fences for down wire, rotten post, etc. Down fences increase the risk of livestock getting tangled in fence lines and getting out onto roads.
- Don’t put your animals in the barn – keeping your animals in barns increases their risk of injury or death. Structure damage or destruction is always a concern during a storm. Putting them a pasture or fenced area allows them to move away from debris.
- Animal Feed – Keep a two week supply of feed in an elevated, dry area to reduce any chance of getting water damage. This allows you to keep you animals fed and happy.
- Water – Install a handle pump at select wells to supply your livestock with fresh water. Livestock can die of dehydration due to limited supply of fresh water.
When the storm passes, you are safe to go back or come out of your home. Though safe from the storm; debris, down power lines and flood waters are dangerous and should be avoided when checking property. Take pictures of any property damage and safely cover areas to prevent any further damage. If you have any questions or would like more information on preparing for the storm, checkout these resources: