Fire preparation tips for dairy farmers

Dairy farmers across WA and Australia are urged to get their fire and emergency preparations finalised, as the fire season begins.

With memories of the difficulties faced by some of WA’s dairy farmers during the Harvey-Waroona fire in January still raw, WAFarmers and Dairy Australia encourage dairy farmers to take necessary precautions and familiarise themselves, their workers and their families with their emergency plans.

Dairy Australia Issues Manager Julie Iommi said fire emergencies had already begun to affect some dairy regions.

“Most dairy farmers have a contingency plan mapped out in their minds, but it is worth taking a few minutes to make sure the preparations are still relevant and that everyone in the team is aware,” said Dr. Iommi.

“The goal is to keep you, your family, staff and animals safe and reduce recovery costs and time.”

Farmers should have a practice run to check that firefighting equipment and machines such as generators for milking and water pumps are in working condition.

Other key tips include:

  • Monitoring changing conditions including developing fires or floods near you. Who will monitor the fire authority apps, listen to the radio, and keep watch on the weather conditions and wind patterns?
  • How will you milk and cool if the power goes off?  Test your back-up plan.
  • Is your inventory up to date, and are your chemicals recorded and stored safely? Take photos of your stored feed, machinery and chemicals.
  • Are all your insurance documents, key contacts lists, farm records and laptop together and easy to grab if you need to leave quickly? Remember to keep your electrical equipment such as your mobile phone and laptop fully charged.

The Dairy Australia website has a wide range of resources available with practical tips for bushfires, as well as other weather emergencies such as storms and floods.

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