With the winds of Hanna still winding across the eastern coastal states of the U.S., the Carolinas and Virginia may soon also feel the impacts of additional storms in her wake.
With 115 mph winds, Hurricane Ike could be more problematic for the region than Hanna. Behind Ike, tropical depression Josephine also has a shot at the east coast.
As Hanna approached last Wednesday, North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler warned farmers to prepare for possible storm damage. His precautions at that juncture are pertinent for these additional storm threats, too.
"The need for generators is always high when a storm strikes," Troxler said. "We encourage farmers to contact local farm suppliers and rental companies in advance to reserve a generator on their own in the event of power outages. There are no guarantees that state-owned generators will be available for farmers and livestock owners."
Troxler advised farmers to collect important telephone numbers and make sure they were close at hand, including the county emergency management office. In addition, Troxler's agency, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, noted pesticide applicators should secure storage areas and try to move pesticides to locations that are less likely to flood.
NCDA also lists these additional storm measures to take:
• Continue to monitor local weather reports for up-to-the-minute information.
• Store or secure items or equipment that may blow away.
• Check generators to be sure they are in good working order.
• Secure sufficient amount of fuel to operate generators.
• Turn off the propane supply at tanks.
• Secure propane tanks in the event of flooding to prevent them from floating away.
• Move equipment to the highest open ground possible away from trees or buildings that could cause damage.
• Mark animals with an identifier so they can be easily returned to you if lost. Examples are ear tags with name of farm and/or phone numbers, brands, paint markings on hooves or coat or clipped initials in the hair.
• Move feed to higher ground or to a more accessible place in case of flooding or transportation problems.
• Coordinate with neighbors beforehand and discuss what resources can be shared. Examples include a backhoe or set of panels.
• Make sure your family's hurricane plan is updated.
• Help farm workers find alternative shelter if necessary.
• Have a list of important phone numbers ready and easily accessible in order to make calls following a storm. Potential numbers to include are local emergency management office, county extension agent, insurance agent, county Farm Service Agency and private veterinarian.
Additional hurricane preparation information is available on the Internet at www.ncagr.gov/paffairs/stormprep.htm.