Nebraska Farmers: How to Avoid the Devastating 2019 Flood
Farmers in Nebraska are still reeling from the devastating 2019 flood that destroyed millions of acres of farmland and livestock. This natural disaster caused millions of dollars in damage to farms and crops throughout the state. If you are a farmer in Nebraska, it is important to take steps to avoid this disaster. In this blog post, we will discuss how you can protect your farm from another devastating flood.
What Caused the 2019 Flood in Nebraska?
The 2019 flood in Nebraska was caused by a combination of heavy rainfall and rapid snowmelt. This storm of weather conditions led to the Missouri River and its tributaries overflowing their banks. This made three-fourths of the state's 93 counties declare a state of emergency. The resulting floodwaters caused widespread damage to farmland, crops, and livestock, with the total cost of damage to the state being over $1.3 billion.
How Can Farmers Avoid Another Devastating Flood?
While the 2019 flood was a natural disaster that couldn't have been prevented, there are steps that farmers can take to avoid future devastation. Some of them are:
Create a Flood Plan
The first step that farmers can take is to create a flood plan. If you're in an area that is prone to flooding, it's important to have a plan in place in case of an emergency. This plan should include things like where you will evacuate your animals, how you will protect your crops, and what you will do if your farm is flooded. Have a list of emergency contacts on hand, as well as a supply of food and water that will last you and your family for several days.
Have a Good Drainage System
Another way to protect your farm from flooding is to have a good drainage system. This will help to ensure that any excess water is quickly removed from your property. Make sure that your gutters and drains are in good working order, and consider installing a sump pump if you live in an area that is prone to flooding. While a good drainage system won't prevent a flood from happening, it can help to minimize the damage that is caused by one.
Build Flood Barriers
One way to protect your farm from flooding is to build flood barriers. These can be made from a variety of materials, including concrete, sandbags, and even hay bales. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, it's a good idea to have these barriers in place so that you can quickly block any water that does manage to get onto your property. There are a variety of ways to build flood barriers, so make sure to do some research and find the method that will work best for you.
Know Your Flood Zone
Another important step that farmers can take to avoid the devastating effects of a flood is to know their flood zone. There are two types of flood zones: high-risk and low-risk. If you live in a high-risk area, it's important to take extra steps to protect your property. This may include things like having flood insurance or raising your home above the expected water level. Knowing your flood zone can help you to make informed decisions about how to best protect your property. Having a professional to assess your farm and make recommendations for flood protection is also a good idea.
Monitor the Weather
As a farmer, it's important to keep an eye on the weather. This will help you to be aware of any severe weather conditions that could lead to a flood. There are a variety of ways that you can do this, including checking the local news or signing up for alerts from the National Weather Service. If you know that a storm is coming, you can take steps to protect your farm in advance.
Have a Flood Insurance Policy
Lastly, one of the best ways to protect your farm from the devastating effects of a flood is to have a flood insurance policy. This will help to cover the cost of any damage that is caused by a flood, and it can give you peace of mind knowing that you're protected in case of an emergency. While this may cost you a bit of money, it's worth it to know that your farm is protected. Just make sure to read the policy carefully so that you understand what is and isn't covered.
While no one can predict when the next natural disaster will strike, by taking some simple precautions, farmers can help to protect their property from the devastating effects of a flood. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, make sure to have a plan in place and know your flood zone. Having a good drainage system and building flood barriers can also help to minimize the damage that is caused by a flood. And lastly, having a flood insurance policy is one of the best ways to protect your farm from the financial devastation that can be caused by a flood.
Can All Farmers Afford These Precautions?
While these precautions can help to protect your farm from the devastating effects of a flood, they may not be affordable for all farmers. In particular, those who live in areas that are at high risk for flooding may find it difficult to afford the cost of a flood insurance policy or create a robust drainage system.
However, there are a couple of government programs that can help to offset the cost of these precautions. The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides grants to individuals and businesses that are located in disaster-prone areas. The Small Business Administration also offers disaster assistance loans to help businesses recover from the effects of a natural disaster.
And if you really want to maximize your chances of avoiding the devastating effects of a flood, you can always get financial assistance from a reliable source of loan programs in Nebraska. Farm Plus Financial, for example, offers agricultural assistance programs with low-interest rates and flexible repayment terms to help farmers prepare for the next big flood. They also have a team of professional agricultural financial advisors who can help you create a comprehensive financial plan for your farm.
No farmer wants to experience the devastation that a flood can cause. But by taking some simple precautions and being prepared, you can help to protect your farm from the worst-case scenario. So don't wait until it's too late - start planning for the next big flood today.