Almost 50 people attended the Custom Harvest & Farm Safety Day at the Woodward County Event Center and Fairgrounds for a full day of education on Tuesday.
Northwest Center for Behaviorial Health Director Jason Zwink started the day discussing mental health and suicide prevention.
Stored Products Entomologist Edmond Bonjour, Associate Extension Specialist with Oklahoma State University (OSU) then spoke about bin safety.
First aid safety was the topic right before lunch, tackled by Woodward Assistant Fire Chief Michael Wickware.
Two of the points Wickware made were always move to the right of the road when driving and emergency vehicles are coming with lights and sirens on and always assume downed power lines are live.
Woodward County Emergency Management Director Matt Lehenbauer spoke about weather safety after lunch. He tackled mostly tornado season, which can be all year long, but most tornadoes in Oklahoma are from March through June. They can also be any time of day, but tend to be from 3 p.m. through 9 p.m.
“There's a couple of good apps that can really help you out,” Lehenbauer said. “I make my own forecasts pretty much and you can do the same thing.”
Lehenbauer suggested the Mesonet app and RadarScope. He described how to use several of the maps on the Mesonet app.
A NOAA radio is also highly recommended by Lehenbauer.
“Do not trust the sirens,” Lehenbauer said. “It’s a last resort, when sirens go off. It is a mechanical devise that can fail.”
Between the dryline coming over the Rocky Mountains, cold fronts coming down from Canada and hot moisture coming up from the Gulf of Mexico, Oklahoma has all the ingredients it needs to have the most frequent tornadoes of anywhere else in the world, according to Lehenbauer.
Misconceptions, myths and urban legends about bugs was a topic discussed by the enthusiastic Dr. Andrine Shufran, OSU Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology.
“There are 20 million species of arthropods worldwide,” Shufran said. “Every year, scientists discovered a name over 10,000 new species of bugs.”
Shufran defined science, saying the internet, TV and movies are not science.
“It’s called peer review,” Shufran explained. “If you're trying to put something out that’s not fiction and not fun, you actually have to go through a process before that book can be printed. And one of those things is to have the science vetted.”
The last talk of the day was on preventing heat related illness by Zenith Insurance Associate Jeff Hays.
Hays listed risks of heat stroke as:
• Medical conditions
• Lack of Sleep
• Certain medications
• Alcohol or illegal drugs
• Excessive Caffeine
“What you eat and what you drink, makes a great big difference,” Hays said. “Water, water, water and lots of electrolytes.”
Hayes also made the point that it takes up to two weeks to acclimate to the physical difficulties of a new job and urged attendees to keep it that in mind.