|By Judy Benson, The Day, New London, Conn.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
"The main message is that you need to reach out to first responders,"
Along with getting acquainted with their local first responders ahead of any disaster,
"If you meet the emergency management director ahead of time, he can put you on the priority list for debris clearance," Williams said. "We'd much rather deal with a lot of dead trees than dead chickens."
The workshop, at
Before these recent events, disaster planning for agriculture "had been an afterthought," said
To address the need for planning and risk reduction, the farm bureau worked with the
Farms that don't prepare leave themselves most vulnerable to disasters,
"If you haven't even thought about it, or hope it's never going to happen, when it does hit, it's going to be devastating," Meader said.
"It was getting serious," he said.
Williams suggested contacting the local emergency management director to learn about the process for getting a waiver to let trucks use highways in those situations.
"This insurance puts a safety net under your operations," he said.
In addition to large-scale natural disasters, farmers were also urged to prepare for localized ones such as fires or medical emergencies on their property.
After the presentations,
In addition to a dairy, goat and maple syrup operation, the property also houses a trucking business and a farm tool museum, and regularly hosts events such as square dances and an October festival that bring in hundreds of members of the public.
All these uses, he said, expose the farm to multiple risks, so he and the other family members that run Blue Slope needed to make sure they were prepared to respond to emergencies.
"We all decided on the importance of having a plan," he said.
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