Safety vs. Emergency Preparedness

Discerning the difference between safety and emergency preparedness is important before starting your plan.

The details of safety – everything from checking the grease on the hayride wagon to looking for trip hazards around the farm – is for prevention of injuries and emergencies. Your farm needs to have a safety plan in place. This includes checklists and documentation for servicing equipment, attractions and other aspects of the farming operations.

Example Safety Preparations

  • Putting in fire control systems
  • Making, communicating and enforcing rules
  • Determining heights of fencing, types of locks/closures for livestock areas
  • Eliminating potential injury ‘items’ or trip hazards
  • Checklists for employees to use in getting ready for the day
  • Establishing hand signals for use around loud equipment

To learn more about safety on the farm and details for general farm safety, go to:

There are various Internet-based resources to help prepare a safety plan for your farm or business.  Take time to establish a plan and complete the details before opening your farm to the public. To learn more about safety on agritourism farms, consider the following resources:

Safety Plan checklist:

General Overview:

Compilation of checklists and other information::

Completing a farm safety plan is important before doing an emergency preparedness plan.  If you do not have a safety plan in place, portions of the emergency preparedness plan can be bogged down with the discussions of basic safety practices and implementation of these practices at the farm or business.

Our Focus – Emergency Preparedness

The National Fire Protection Association says that emergency preparedness is, “Activities, tasks, programs, and systems developed and implemented prior to an emergency that are used to support the prevention of, mitigation of, response to, and recovery from emergencies.” This website was planned as a system to help you implement a plan for your farm or business.

Emergencies and disasters do not discriminate – they can happen anytime, anywhere, and to anyone. Just as individuals and families must prepare for emergencies, so too must businesses. Preparedness helps to ensure the safety of people and assets, which in turn helps to protect the business investment itself.  Agriculture operations are unique compared to other businesses. When it comes to agritourism businesses (including fairs and festivals), there are many unique aspects of inviting the public onto your property which make a plan paramount to your business operations. This makes agritourism businesses even more unique and the process for preparing an emergency plan even more more important.

Emergency Preparedness Preparations

  • Developing a plan
  • Involving the entire management team
  • Ensuring customers will be safe in emergencies
  • Ensuring employees will be safe in emergencies
  • Planning for business continuity into the future
  • Preparing back-up equipment for attractions
  • Preparing back-up equipment and processes for operations

Completing a plan through this website is simply a starting point. It will prepare a physical plan. Your job will be to implement that plan through the management team and employees of the business. Each time an incident occurs, you will reassess your plan and update as needed.

Next Chapter: Training Resources