Earlier this year, during the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association in Norman, guest speaker, David Pelzer, president of Pelzer Communications Resources, presented on one of his specialties which is preparing producers for the unexpected on their farms or ranches. In a conversation that day with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, he suggested several steps producers can take right now to stay ahead of any crisis situation.
With the tremendous wildfire situation that occurred in Oklahoma in March, it just caught a lot of people unaware, because it was just an unprecedented event,” he said. “But really, it’s an opportunity for us to take a step back and look for each of our operations and say, ‘Do we have a crisis plan in place to be able to deal with that type of a situation?’”
Pelzer suggests the first step anyone can take that will benefit a producer in any sort of situation, is simply to start making lists. He advises producers begin by making a crisis team list. When forming a crisis team, Pelzer says consider people involved directly with your operation, but also think about the people that may be essential in a crisis that work off the farm. For example, Pelzer says in a hypothetical emergency on the farm, your attorney, a clergyman, your feed dealer or crop insurance agent, even your lender and other family members might be important people to have on hand. The key, here, is to recognize that stress, as Pelzer puts it, “can make you stupid.” And a crisis is the ultimate stressful situation. He recommends producers have these people, their phone numbers and their roles in an emergency situation all written down, so that you won’t have to rely on your brain to recall these things if and when something bad happens.