Agriculture Sector Emergency Preparedness Tips (Apr 2007)

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This year's heavy snowpack presents the potential for flooding, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands is advising B.C.'s agriculture industry to be prepared.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Lands recommends:

  • Cattle producers in the flood plain should investigate the availability of alternative livestock accommodation on higher ground. Consider moving some cattle in the days leading up to potential flooding.
  • Dairy producers should consider arrangements for temporary milking.
  • Put together a list of people, including livestock haulers, who can assist on short notice in the event of evacuation.
  • All cattle should have positive identification and a record kept of the identification in case animals from different herds have to share a relocation site.
  • Dangerous stock, such as bulls, should be relocated well before evacuation becomes necessary.
  • Keep a supply of materials such as rope, sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber handy for emergency waterproofing.
  • Protect farm equipment, feed and hay supplies; move to high ground, where possible.
  • Remove all chemicals and store away from any flood levels. Pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers may cause pollution and even poisoning.
  • Pork and poultry producers should consider making arrangements with marketing organizations or processors regarding the sale of animals that are approaching market weight.
  • Poultry producers should consider moving birds to the top floor in two-storey barns, if space is available.
  • Milk tanks should be anchored firmly to ensure they will not float away in floodwaters.
  • Notify your dairy representative, milk hauler, processor, feed representative and veterinarian of a planned destination if evacuated.
  • Mark your animals with livestock marking pencil, using initials or herd letters.
  • Secure copies of insurance policies and other essential farm documents.

If your farm is above a flood plain, you should:

  • Have enough feed on hand to last for at least a month as suppliers may not be able to access some roads.
  • Make sure that you have adequate bedding material, dairy supplies, medications, etc. on hand for an extended period.
  • Purchase extra fuel in case of prolonged power disruptions.
  • Be prepared where possible to assist other livestock producers who may have to evacuate from the flood plain.

For more information about emergency preparedness, please visit www.pep.bc.ca

Contact: Chris Zabek
Regional Agrologist
Ministry of Agriculture and Lands
604 556-3001

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