While Hurricane Dorian is the first to impact the U.S. east coast this hurricane season, the peak of hurricane season extends until late October. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) encourages farmers to take precautions now to help protect their families, farm operations and livestock from this or other potential storms.

Severe weather can impact farmers in a variety of ways, but the powerful winds and flooding rains of hurricanes can be disastrous for farm staff, livestock and crops. The following are a few preparedness steps farmers can take before a storm.

· Monitor local weather reports for up-to-the-minute storm information.

· Prepare your household by creating an emergency kit with flashlights, batteries, drinking water for humans and pets, medications, emergency numbers, first aid kit, dust masks and a supply of food to last 3 or 4 days.

· Make sure any preparedness or evacuation plans include all household pets.

· Make a communications plan that identifies your evacuation routes to where your family will meet and how everyone would get there should you need to evacuate.

· Charge cell phone batteries and have extra batteries for radios.

· Store or secure items or equipment that may blow away or become dangerous projectiles.

-For more information, see the September 4 edition of the Smith Mountain Eagle-

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