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Farmers encouraged to prepare emergency kit for extreme weather events

As extreme weather events become more common across New Zealand, Gallagher is encouraging farmers to prepare emergency kits to help them protect their farm business when the unexpected happens.

Gallagher Animal Management Territory Manager Ken McMiken says it’s timely for farmers to consider what portable gear they have on hand in case of an emergency and what crucial items might be missing.

On the list are things like a generator, a solar energiser to power up electric fences, spare reels of fencing tape and standards, and even a few insulated line posts that can be easily installed to keep stock where they are meant to be should permanent fencing be taken out.

“While recovery from events like Cyclone Gabrielle requires far more than an emergency kit, recent storms have highlighted how farmers can prepare themselves for smaller less severe events,” says Ken.

“It’s gear that can support your farm and keep stock safe when the unexpected happens, not just following extreme weather events. How many times have you had a car crash through a boundary fence leaving it in disrepair, or a tree come down taking a fence with it and leaving stock unsecure?

“Smaller energizers can power up between 1-2 kilometres of fence line when needed and having them charged and ready alongside a spare reel of tape and some standards or insulated line posts could help fix a broken fence quickly and control stock.”

Following recent severe weather events in the North and South Islands, Gallagher has provided support to farmers through Federated Farmers, donating gear to get farms back up and running and contain stock.

Ken, who is based in the Nelson and West Coast region, says the wild weather that brought a tornado to Nelson over Easter demonstrated just how unpredictable our weather can be.

The tornado cut a swath through paddocks 500 metres from Ken’s home in Nelson. It brought down trees, cutting fence lines, stripped orchards of their fruits and damaged 50 homes. Around the same time more than 100mm of rain fell in the Rai Valley, near Blenheim, seeing the river burst its banks and sending baylage floating across farmland.

The tornado came on the heels of severe weather events across the Nelson region in August last year and the 100-year flooding events on the West Coast in February 2022.

“These weather events are happening more regularly and are becoming more severe,” says Ken.

“The better prepared farmers can be with a bit of extra kit on hand the easier it will be to safely protect their stock and get things up and running again.”