GFB, GDA offer emergency farm resources for hurricane prep
With the approach of Hurricane Ian, Georgia Farm Bureau and the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) are offering a variety of services to farmers and ranchers needing assistance in preparation and recovery from the storm.
According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Ian was near Category 5 strength Wednesday morning before its expected landfall near Port Charlotte south of Tampa on the west coast of Florida. Most of eastern Georgia was in the forecast path for the storm, and its advance was expected to bring wind and rain to the majority of the state by the weekend. The Georgia coast was included in a tropical storm warning area along Atlantic coast from south Florida through most of the South Carolina coast.
On Florida’s Gulf Coast, major fertilizer production facilities lie in the hurricane warning zone. The Mosaic Company, headquartered in Tampa, produces about 50% of North American farmers’ supply of granular phosphate fertilizer, according to a company fact sheet.
Georgia Farm Bureau hopes you and your family stays safe during the storm. If your property is damaged, please don’t hesitate to call the GFB Claims Department at 855-432-2567 for assistance. Prior to the storm, check with your insurance agent to verify your coverage. A directory of GFB insurance agents is available at www.gfbinsurance.com/contact.
The GDA works with state, federal and industry partners to support the safety and comfort of Georgia citizens, evacuees, and all livestock and companion animals. The GDA offers these tips for coping with a natural disaster:
• Follow emergency instructions given by your local and state Emergency Management Associations;
• Complete a hurricane preparedness checklist to make a plan to ensure the safety of family, pets, livestock and home;
• Have a generator of sufficient size to provide for your vital needs and test the generator before you need it – power outages can occur;
• Fill fuel tanks – Have all fuel tanks full with extra available – Store fuel and equipment out of reach so it will not get flooded;
• Have extra batteries for flashlights and radios and charge mobile phones;
• Make sure equipment inside and outside the house is stored away or secured and be sure to reinforce openings – flying debris from hurricane winds can cause major damage;
• Ensure your pets and livestock are safe – Make plans for feed, water, housing, transportation, destination, expenses;
• Check on animals and property for damage after the storm - Ventilation, water supply, feed supply, structural repairs should be assessed in that order
You can find incident related data for Hurricane Ian on the GDA website, including food safety tips in addition to animal evacuation data, by click here;
For information for the following on evacuation or emergency animal housing:
Petco Love Lost has a free reunification tool on its website where animal owners can upload a photo of their pets and search their national database: https://lost.petcolove.org/. This tool utilizes facial recognition software and is free with a goal to reunify pets with their owners.