Once in place, disaster plans should be reviewed and exercised at least once a year.

“It does not have to be an elaborate exercise,” Peter said. “Just ask questions about who is going to execute certain tasks. When disaster strikes, it won't be the plan that saves lives and money, it will be the thought process and experience gained knowing the plan.”

The hardest part about creating a disaster plan can be taking the time to write it down, but two publications developed by Purdue University Extension can help, she said.

“Plan Today for Tomorrow's Flood” is a flood response plan for agricultural retailers but which farmers also can use. “Rural Security Planning” is designed to protect family, friends and farms in the event of an emergency.

Both publications are available for free download from Purdue Extension at The Education Store at https://mdc.itap.purdue.edu/. Hard copies are available for $1 each.

“Using the publications and common sense, a producer can have a farm-ready emergency plan in about three hours,” Peter said.

More information for farmers and others about emergency preparedness and disaster recovery is available at http://www.extension.org (click on disaster issues) and http://www.eden.lsu.edu. More information for Kansas is available at http://www.kseden.ksu.edu.