Farming through winter storms
Forecasting the weather is not easy but we know the winter can be challenging.
February 2018 brought us the Beast from the East; last year it was Storms Ciara and Dennis. In an increasingly unpredictable world, which seems to include our weather patterns, it pays to be prepared for the worst. Take a fresh look at your readiness for what could lie ahead.
Strong winds can find every weakness in a building’s fabric, whether a loose roof tile or poorly secured corrugated metal sheeting on roofs or doors. Take a good look around the farm and fix or tie down securely anything loose or in danger of moving in a gale. Trees are also at risk so it’s worth checking for and removing damaged branches before they fall and cause an accident or block roads. Move machinery into a secure building where possible or away from potential danger.
We’ve already seen flooding this winter, and you’ll know if you’re particularly vulnerable from local watercourses. But do you have a flood plan? Start by identifying what’s at risk on your farm, such as livestock, machinery, tools, chemicals and fuel. Think about a safe refuge for each of these, whether on your farm or somewhere else. For example, do you have access to higher ground for livestock if they need to be moved?
“Expect the unexpected and plan ahead,” says Pam Mundy, Cornish Mutual Claims Technician. “It’s worth investing the time in preparation to prevent serious problems further down the line.”