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Nationwide: Ready for Emergencies

Tips for Creating Your Emergency Action Plan

Top ten tips for on-farm disaster preparedness.

Planning for the unpredictability of weather is the way of life for a farmer. Anticipating and being ready for droughts, heavy rains, frosts and scorching heat come standard with the job.

Successful growers also realize the importance of being prepared in the event of a disaster, whether a natural disaster such as a tornado or other type of hazardous situation.

Southern States® and Nationwide® Agribusiness Insurance have compiled some tips to help in your emergency action plan from their many years of experience in handling disaster situations.

Develop an Emergency Action Plan

  1. For each building on the farm, display emergency escape routes and storm shelter locations.
  2. Designate who would remain to handle critical operations as well as their responsibilities.
  3. Document procedures to account for everyone after an evacuation.
  4. Designate who will be accountable for reporting emergencies, and how.
  5. Maintain a list of all people connected to your farm who should be notified in the event of an emergency with their contact information. This should include owners, family members, employees, employee family members, suppliers, and anyone else who works on the farm regularly.
  6. Prepare a list of emergency contacts, including hospitals, gas and electric providers, and insurance companies. Keep emergency lists in several locations so you can always have them close by.
  7. Keep a map of your farm with all buildings and contents listed, along with an inventory system, so you can know what is on your farm at all times and where it is.
  8. Determine where you will house livestock if barns or dairy parlors are affected by a fire or natural disaster.
  9. Have an offsite location for storage of important documents and records.
  10. Preplan salvage operations with a method of debris disposal included. Keep apprised of what the nearest landfill will accept, and establish alternatives if necessary. Make sure to meet EPA requirements when disposing of hazardous materials and/or chemicals.

Keep it simple

Making a simple but effective plan will help you, but it will also benefit your employees and those involved in your operation. The key to a truly successful plan, however, is to keep it active and up to date. Review your procedures and contacts periodically to make sure that your plan still makes sense.

Tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods can be devastating. Having a smart plan in place can mean the difference between calm control and chaos that could seriously affect your business.

Special Member Savings

At Southern States ®, we are proud to be a farmer-owned cooperative. Southern States has partnered with Nationwide ® to offer Southern States Cooperative member-producers in North Carolina and Virginia special discounts on farm insurance. In addition to giving you exclusive insurance savings, we're also joining forces to support the cooperative that means so much to you.

Nationwide® Agribusiness is the number 1 insurer of farms in the U.S. and a leading insurer of commercial agribusiness. Go to to find a local agent.

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