Flood Plan Components
Label All Truck and Equipment Keys
When floods threaten, fuel delivery trucks, tender trucks, fertilizer spreaders, and pesticide application equipment need to be moved off-site to higher elevations. An often-overlooked detail is access to vehicle keys. With some floods, there is little time to react. When minutes count, moving vehicles quickly without searching for keys will lessen the potential for flood damage. Label keys with the names of the equipment and identification numbers that correspond to the trucks or equipment. Someone will need to shuttle drivers back to the facility once they have moved the equipment to safer ground.
Labeling Keys Saves Time and Property
Consider the story of one ag retailer who made sure his keys and equipment were properly labeled before a flood:
We can handle a 2- or 3-inch rain. If we hear there is a flood warning, or we hear there is a 2- to 3-inch rain coming, we touch base with everybody and put everybody on alert.
We were on our way down to the plant when we heard we were getting heavy rains. If the plant starts to fill up with water, we go down and turn one valve and force the water into the city sewers.
We have three pumps in the ground and they help to keep water levels down. The pumps can handle a 3- to 4-inch rain. When I came down here Saturday I knew exactly where to find the keys to the trucks. All the keys are brought in every night and locked in the office. All of the main people have keys to get into that office. Each key has a number and a name. For instance, our propane truck is a Kenworth and it’s number 47.
We tried to get the equipment out Saturday night. We moved our propane trucks, three fuel trucks, and a couple of service trucks. We were in a pretty good size loader with an extended bucket. There were three of us in the bucket taking us back to move more equipment once we dropped off the others. By that time there were 18 inches of water down there. When the levee next to the facility broke, we had just enough time to get back into the bucket to save ourselves. The facility was totally submerged with eight to nine feet of water within 15 minutes.
We would have saved all of the equipment, but the levee right next to our facility broke. That was the end of what we could do.