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Tornado preparedness tip

Tornado preparedness tip

Document what you own - including farm tools and supplies - before disaster occurs.

Are you prepared for a tornado like the one that recently hit Delmont, S.D.?

The EF-2 tornado destroyed much of the town of Delmont (population 200) and hit several nearby farms.

The basics of tornado preparedness are simple. Have a storm shelter and tell family and employees where to go when there is a tornado warning.

But are your important papers secure? Are your computer files backed up? Can you verify what you owned before a tornado spread it all over the township?

Everyone should has a list of their equipment on their balance sheet, says Lori Tonak, a South Dakota Center for Farm and Ranch Management instructor, but that list usually contains only the large pieces of equipment.

Tornado preparedness tip

Do you have a list of all your tools anywhere? The following document is recommended:
•Serial number
•Purchase date
•Photos and video footage

“It may be hard to go back and document all the tools and supplies in your shop at this point in the season, but it may be doable to at least videotape or photograph what is currently there,” Tonak says. “This could be a good project for your children to accomplish over the summer months. From this point on, you may want to document all equipment and tool purchases as you bring them on the place.”

Supplies are harder to track than tools and equipment; but if you usually have the same amount of supplies on hand at all times, a video may be able to document it.

“It is always best to plan ahead than try to make a plan after a disaster,” she says. “None of us think we will need such a plan, but better safe than sorry.”

For more information, contact the South Dakota Center for Farm and Ranch Management at 800-684-1969 or

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