Farmers: Take precautions for heavy snow to protect livestock, barns, etc.

Farmers are being advised to take immediate steps to protect livestock, farm-related property and equipment, and pets during the coming blizzard.

Steven K. Reviczky, state agriculture commissioner, said farmers should be prepared for a prolonged severe weather event that could drop three feet of snow or more in some areas, and create more than 110,000 power outages.

Reviczky’s recommendations include:

— Have livestock roughage and concentrates available and accessible.

— Bring in companion animals and ensure pets have enough food, water and medicine.

— Check water supplies to ensure they have not frozen.

— All animals should have access to safe shelter.

Barns and other structures

Check roofs periodically especially in areas where snow may accumulate due to wind deposition, and be prepared to remove snow from roofs.

If you fear a roof collapse and cannot remove the snow, prevent access to those areas.

Wood structures will show stress before they fail, but metal structures usually will not.

For a wood structure, the following audible and or visual signs may be noticed prior to failure:

— Creaking or moaning in the building

— Bowing of truss bottom chords or web members

— Bowing of rafters or purlins

— Bowing of headers or columns

If these signs are present, consideration may be given to evacuating animals and people from the barn.

Attempting to save a barn is not worth risking lives. Shoveling the roof without the proper approach may actually cause more damage than good by creating an unbalanced load on the roof.