Evacuation Plan or Shelter?

To plan for weather emergencies and natural disasters, the farm should start with inviting the local Emergency Management Agency official to the farm. This person should assist with evacuation plans based on the number of customers and/or cars at the farm. They should assist with designating a storm shelter on the farm. Most farms will NOT have a building that is suitable for a storm shelter due to types of structures on the farm. Leave the designating to the officials.

When working with the official and writing your plan, consider these topics:

  • Communication is vital
  • Shelters should be structurally sound and not in danger of collapse during severe storms. FEMA has criteria of what constitutes an adequate area.
  • A shelter should provide protection from wind, blowing debris and lightning.
  • Keep people away from doorways, windows, electrical appliances and plumbing.
  • Wired telephones should not be used during thunderstorms because of the risk of electrocution, but cordless and cellular phones are safe to use.

When making plans for storms that do not require evacuation or use of a storm shelter, consider these topics:

  • Communication is vital
  • Do not permit anyone to seek shelter near trees or other tall objects.
  • Keep people away from doorways, windows, electrical appliances and plumbing.
  • Wired telephones should not be used during thunderstorms because of the risk of electrocution, but cordless and cellular phones are safe to use.

Next: Chapter 2 Ways To Stay Informed