Preparing for Hurricane Michael was easy for Benjamin Newberry, owner of Donacin Dairy Farm, but one can never really prepare for a tornado to hit your operation.
When severe weather rolled into Lizella, Georgia, Wednesday night, the Newberry family had no idea that a tornado would hit the 47-year-old operation. Stripping fence lines and damaging commodity barns, the storm set 127 animals loose in the middle of the night but injured none.
Newberry, who did not know the storm had hit his facility, was shocked by the work that needed to be done. His first priority when he arrived at the farm was to repair the fence and contain the cattle.
“It's unnerving, you know, when you get out there and you see what all you've got to do and you can't see in the dark,” Newberry told 13WMAZ News. “You think about how in the world are you going to put these barns back with what little bit you have from insurance. It's just stressful, it's hard and you get overwhelmed.”
Ripping the roof off of their commodity barn, the Newberry’s, employees and friends shoveled grain by hand under a makeshift roof built with tarps and plywood. Other damage included a fallen tree on an employee's car and a 53-foot semi-trailer tipped onto its side and moved about 25-feet, according to 13WMAZ.
Despite the damage, the Newberry’s have a reason to be thankful as we enter this holiday season.
“It’s all material. The cows are okay, our family is okay, our homes are okay, so you do have to be reminded that it could be a lot worse,” Newberry said.
Are you prepared for when bad weather strikes? Read:
- Livestock Food and Water Requirements During Storms
- Livestock Emergency Management Checklist
- Evacuation Toolkit for Small Farms
- Sample Emergency Contacts Form for Small Farms
- Livestock Evacuation Plan
- Livestock First Aid Kit
- Check out these national and regional crisis resources on agweb.com