Section 3. Emergency Information for Responders

Site: Extension Foundation Online Campus
Course: Farm Security
Book: Section 3. Emergency Information for Responders
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Tuesday, April 16, 2024, 9:21 AM


Here is information about emergency responders.

Properly Marking Your Farm Entrance

In section three, learn how to make it easy for emergency responders to locate your farm entrance. In addition, find out why it is important to have a farm map and to maintain your roads. 

Have you ever been invited to visit a farm for the first time and Farm at sunrisehad
trouble finding it, especially if the buildings couldn't be seen from the road?

If your entrance is difficult to identify by visitors, the fire department and other emergency responders will have the same trouble when time is of the essence. Too often mailbox addresses are partially or totally missing. Some addresses are too small to read, others cannot be read in the dark, and some may be seen from only one direction.

Be sure your 911 emergency address is boldly displayed in 3-inch reflective numerals on the front or both sides of your mailbox or on a post on the main road. Your emergency address can also be placed on a utility pole to make it more visible. Be sure the address can be clearly seen from all sides so it is easy to find your home and farm.

Build Your Farm Map and Keep Safe

A farm map should include a simple sketch of the layout of your farm Farm at sunrise
with the buildings and other structures, livestock pens, fence lines and roads labeled. Since emergency responders may have only a few seconds to determine what they must do when dealing with a fire, explosion, accident, crime, or biohazard on your farm, your farm map should also include a basic inventory of each structure. This will help you accurately inform first responders about potential hazards.

For example, during a fire where there was no farm map, the producer told responders as much as he remembered about what was stored in the building. About 10 minutes after the conversation, an intense explosion occurred inside the barn. The farmer said, “I forgot there was a 55-gallon drum of used oil behind the door.”

Keep your farm map safe and accessible.  Responders to fire emergencies require full disclosure of information. Otherwise, keep details of inventory and security measures confidential to prevent crime.

Maintaining Driveways and Farm Roads

Farm roads must be adequate for emergency vehicles, as well as Farm at sunrise
normal farm operations. Always keep the roads to the farmstead in good repair. They should be at least 20 feet wide and capable of supporting vehicles weighing over 40,000 lbs.

It is also important to have at least 14-foot height clearance, so trees and vegetation should be trimmed at least 10 feet beyond the shoulder of the road. These simple guidelines will help emergency vehicles access your facilities quickly and easily. Check your local ordinances for more information.

Information for Emergency Responders

What do you think would happen if one of your farm buildings caught Well-hidden permanently installed mailboxfire
and no one was there to tell firefighters what the building contained? Since the fire fighters wouldn't know if pesticides or other chemicals were in the building, they might treat it as a hazardous materials fire and let it burn until the hazmat team arrived.

For everyone's protection and to prevent this situation, you should have a well-hidden permanently installed mailbox or lock box that serves as an emergency information box. It should contain:

  • a detailed map of the farm
  • a list of emergency contact persons and their phone numbers, including cell numbers
  • locations and amounts of hazardous chemicals stored on the farm, and material safety data sheets (available from your dealer or on the Internet) for each chemical
  • a list of the major contents of each building
Your emergency information box will be very important to first responders if an emergency situation occurs on your farm. Only you and the local authorities should know its location (and/or the location of its key). Have the location entered into the computer database at your local 911 dispatch center, and personally inform your local fire and police chiefs. Keep copies of all materials stored in the information box at a second site on the premises, such as the farmhouse, a farm office, or an outbuilding.