Disaster recovery can be as dangerous as the disaster itself, especially if no disaster preparedness plan was implemented. This is especially true on farms and ranches where inherent farm hazards such as machinery and equipment, livestock, and agriculture chemicals are displaced and co-mingle, putting all emergency response personnel, farm workers and family members, and livestock in danger. First responders should recognize the hazards that exist and proceed with caution.
Look carefully for signs of damage to electrical components. Electrical components, such as switches and outlets, may have debris that will cause electrical hazards. Contact your electric utility for guidance. Never try to turn the electricity back on in areas that have been flooded before having the system checked. Depending on the extent of damage, gas lines also could sustain significant damage. Have the gas utility check the system for leaks before continuing service.
Care for the Animals
As with humans, the aftermath of disasters pose significant safety and health problems to livestock. Agriculture producers can minimize the safety risk to livestock in the following ways:
Farm Disaster Assistance
Agriculture producers do not have to face a disaster alone. If a farm or ranch has suffered a loss due to disaster, it may be eligible for assistance under Farm Service Agency programs.