The Alberta Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) has a dedicated chapter specifically designed to have producers think about “what if” scenarios on their farm and what they can do to mitigate risks. The Environmental Farm Plan asks producers what measures they have in place and what actions they can take to improve their own level of preparedness on farm.
Every farm in Alberta should be prepared to handle a possible emergency situation such as a fire, hazardous material spill, or livestock emergency. Developing an emergency preparedness plan is key and can help save lives. By identifying your farm risks, and creating an accessible emergency preparedness plan that includes maps with locations of hazardous materials, emergency shutoffs, supplies and emergency contact numbers will result in a faster, more organized response in the event of an emergency situation. Being able to providing emergency responders with important details about your farm can also help prevent losses and damages to your farm (e.g., livestock, equipment, buildings, tools, materials, etc.).
The EFP also provides producers with a resource list and links that can help with preparing a plan to address many of the on-farm concerns that may arise. One of the resources suggested is the Rural Emergency Plan (http://www.ruralemergencyplan.com/) which has a downloadable, fill in the blank kit. This kit covers contact information, inventory and location of hazardous material, location of spill kits and proper handling equipment in case of emergencies. Created by farmers and those on the front lines of emergency response, the Rural Emergency Plan (REP) is a personalized, easy-to-use tool for rural landowners to prepare for personal and environmental safety emergencies on their farms, ranches or acreages. It’s also a way to let emergency responders know critically important information about rural properties so they can respond to emergencies quickly, effectively and safely.
The Environmental Emergency Planning chapter also has producers prepare both a short term and long-term action plan surrounding preparedness in their operation. When EFP technicians review these action plans, they can also provide additional suggestions, resources, and ideas to make the process more operation specific. Often the key to preventing an emergency turning into a personal or environmental safety disaster is response time. Speed, clear thinking and planning are critical.