Dairy Australia’s Issues Manager, Dr. Julie Iommi in a short podcast available on the organisation’s website, says with the heightened risk of fire and flood farmers should review their emergency plans.
“Dairy farmers have plans in place but it’s also worth taking a few minutes to make sure your preparations are still relevant,” Julie says.
Clearly a high risk on a dairy farm is an electricity outage – how will you milk your cows and keep the milk cool if power is knocked out for a prolonged period?
“When was the last time you tested your back-up equipment? Having a practice run to check fire-fighting equipment, generators for milking and your water pumps should help if the worst happens.
“These are just some of the questions you need to address to respond to a disaster in the most effective way,” she says.
The Dairy Australia website has resources available with practical tips (see emergency checklist and Dairy Farm Fire Plan).
“The goal is to reduce disruption to your dairy business and keep you, your family, staff and animals safe,” Julie says.
• How can you find out about fires or floods near you? – Who will monitor the Fire Authority Apps, listen to the ABC, keep a watch on the weather conditions and wind patterns? Have you signed up for the Dairy Australia SMS local heat alerts?
• How will you milk and cool if the power goes off? Can you test your back-up plan tonight/tomorrow – just in case?
• Is your inventory up to date? Take photos of your stored feed and machinery and are chemicals recorded and stored properly and safely?
• Are all your insurance documents, key contacts list, farm records and laptop together and easy to grab if you need to leave quickly? And remember to keep your mobile phone fully charged.