With Hurricane Sandy just around the corner, farms are doing everything they can to prepare for when it hits. Whether that’s getting a roofing company Burlington to inspect their roofs to ensure they’re secure and safe, adding measures to protect livestock, or increasing food rations in case anything happens – farmers are working hard to protect their livelihood. And luckily, there is plenty of support out there.

Maryland Park Service (MPS) will be providing safe haven for horses at Fair Hill (Cecil County) if needed. Anyone interested or would like further information should contact MPS Park Manager Wayne Suydan at 410-409-8974 (cell).

Anyone in the agricultural community who needs assistance with livestock, including horses, should contact their local emergency operation center. Click here for a list of local emergency management offices.

MDA recommends the following for farmers and livestock owners to prepare for a hurricane:

* Move all livestock to high ground and shelter them in securely battened barns, houses, or tightly fenced areas.
* If you evacuate and take your horses with you, take all immunization and health records, your emergency kit and sufficient hay and water for a minimum 48 hour period. Call ahead, to make sure that your emergency location is still available.
* Cover and secure all water, food, and medical supplies for poultry and livestock.
* Pump and collect adequate supplies of drinking water in case of electrical failures.
* Top off all gasoline, propane, and other fuel tanks and check operations of all portable generators.
* Remove or secure all loose objects that could be moved by high winds.
* Board all glass windows and other similar items that could break from high winds or from objects being blown against them.
* Ensure that all animal holding areas are as clean and sanitary as possible.
* Have available portable radios, extra batteries, flashlights, and candles.
* Follow instructions and advice given by emergency officials.

Notify MDA through MEMA if any agricultural assistance is needed before, during, or after the storm, including injured animals in need of veterinary assistance or dead animals that require disposal.

Click here for additional disaster preparedness tips for horse owners.

For more information about disaster planning, contact the Maryland Emergency Management Agency at 1-877-MEMA-USA or log on to www.mema.maryland.gov.