Will Lusi deliver rain from the sky like diamonds?
Will Lusi deliver rain from the sky like
With Cyclone Lusi having potential to be a significant adverse weather event for farmers nationwide, others on the parched West Coast of the North Island, Waikato, Auckland and Hauraki Coromandel, will be hoping for long overdue rain.
“While Cyclone Lusi has the potential to destroy, its unpredictable tropical nature also has the real potential to bring life back to parched pasture,” says Katie Milne, Federated Farmers Adverse Events spokesperson.
“Being a Coaster myself, I can tell you we are getting prepped right now as ought to be every farmer in New Zealand. While the rain will be of huge benefit we’ve got a storm to negotiate first.
“Federated Farmers hope is that Lusi will correct severe soil moisture deficits in the upper North Island and see drought concerns recede.
“I know there'll be a fair number of members in Waikato and Northland who’ll dance a jig at the first drops of rain. Some on the North Island’s West Coast haven’t seen decent rain since last November.
“For other farmers this is like the calm before the storm. It is an ideal time to take stock of farm preparedness because there is some talk of Lusi being of Bola-like proportions.
“That’s why we’ve put together some quick tips that we’ve just sent out to members. It’s common sense really, but in a storm like this, your first duty is to your kith and kin.
“Going out into the teeth of a storm only invites disaster. The best thing you can do is to ensure your family, your stock and your property is prepared for any eventuality Lusi will bring.
“Federated Farmers will be watching developments over the weekend should we need to swing into gear,” Mrs Milne concluded.
Federated Farmers Quick Tips
§ Talk to your neighbours about needs and pooling resources
§ Top up bottles, jugs with potable water in case the storm disrupt water supplies
§ Check your household for torches/batteries as well as food and a portable radio
§ In case power fails, make sure your BBQ has a full bottle of gas for cooking
§ Ensure you have tarpaulins just in case house or shed roof lift in high wind.
AROUND THE FARM:
§ Move stock away from the expected prevailing wind direction/low lying flood prone areas
§ Check supplementary feed is protected from the elements
§ Check generators work with adequate fuel/lubricants to hand
§ Ensure your farm has fuel available for tractors, utes, quads etc
§ Ensure chainsaws and safety gear is in good order
§ Check around your property and secure loose items that become dangerous in high winds.
§ Make sure you have old fashioned corded phone
§ Charge up every mobile phone you have (as long as it takes a SIM it will work)
§ If power does fail, use SMS text instead of voice to conserve cell tower batteries
§ Ensure handheld UHF radios and battery packs are fully charged.
§ Wait until the storm has passed to undertake any remedial/repair work. There’s very little that can be achieved in the eye of howling gale, aside from putting your life and that of others in jeopardy.
AFTER THE STORM:
§ Once it is safe undertake a stocktake of your farm and approaches:
o The state of road approaches and farm tracks
o Identify damaged or highly strained fence lines
o Look for downed or leaning trees including exposed root beds. Take care and if it’s too big a job then call in a contractor
o Survey the farm for damaged buildings, bridges or infrastructure
o Be aware of downed power lines, or lines which are still on farm buildings or fences. Please treat all downed lines as LIVE and consult your lines company
§ Discuss needs with your insurer, for example, specialist rural insurer FMG.