4 Critical Safety Steps

Create an emergency response plan for your farm. ( iStock )

If an accident happens to a family member or farmhand, could you – under pressure and in cohesive words – relay the exact location to an emergency responder?

“Emergency response planning and coordination looks identical to 50 years ago,” says Shay Foulk, consultant with Ag View Solutions in Rowley, Iowa. “An accident happens, emergency responders are directed to a general location and they figure out the situation once they get there. Is that what you want for your farm?”

Take these steps, Foulk says, so you can be proactive in the event you face an emergency situation.

  • Create blueprints of your farm and home. This can be a simple drawing, digital image or field aerial image with overlaid text.
  • Number your buildings, storage and fuel tanks. “I don’t know the ‘farrowing shack behind the chicken building’ and neither do emergency responders,” Foulk says. Label buildings with reflective tape and numbers.
  • Invite local emergency responders to your farm. Have them assess the present hazards and involve them in the planning process.
  • Share your safety plans and document. Download “Smart911” on your mobile device, add your family information and upload your blueprints. Also, provide your blueprints to your emergency responders.