Insurance Commissioner John Doak Urges Rural Oklahomans To Be Safe and Be PreparedFri, 07 Dec 2012 17:04:28 CST
Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak visited the Tulsa Farm show and watched the Livestock Handling Skills Competition. He spoke afterward with Ron Hays from OklahomaFarmReport.com.
Doak said safety should always be a top-of-mind issue for farmers and ranchers.
“This whole process here today, and I’m very proud of the kids from around the state that are in this program, the future of Oklahoma looks very bright. Rural Oklahoma is incredibly important to our state. But the safety aspects of what they’re learning here today through this process it directly ties back to insurance and risk management. I’m very proud of how the kids are learning.
“These young adults, really, are learning how to properly handle the cattle and work them through. It’s really remarkable the amount of time they’ve taken to get this far. We’re extremely proud of them.”
The agriculture industry can be dangerous with situations that can change rapidly and be the cause of accident and injury, especially when it comes to handling livestock. Doak said learning proper techniques and safety practices is vitally important.
“There can be a major injury-a head injury, a hand injury-and to watch how careful they are and they are learning all the safety aspects of this is really great for the industry and it’s great for them because someday it’s going to probably help them not have a major accident on their farm or ranch.”
Doak said the insurance industry in Oklahoma is strong and has weathered natural disasters this year. But, he said, it’s not time to grow complacent. The threat of more disasters in the near future is very real.
“The major issue that I see is we really need to be prepared for the wildfires. They’re saying that the drought is a problem and we really need to keep our eye on that and have a plan.
“The firefighters from around the state have done a wonderful job and that’s really a very integral part of the insurance business is to make sure we have vibrant rural firefighters around the state and our class codes, but the drought really is concerning me because of the amount of wildfires we had last year. They’re predicting it’s going to be worse next year. “
Doak said that lawmakers, fire officials and property owners need to examine what they can do to lessen the impact of wildfires when they happen.
“We need to be talking about it at the legislature this year and planning for the amount of stress it’s going to put on rural firefighters around the state because they are volunteers. And we need to take a close look at that.”
Doak said attention needs to be paid to water sources used for firefighting include hauled water and stored water. He said individuals also have a part to play. Property owners and renters need to check their insurance policies to make sure they are up to date and that wildfire damage is covered.
“We had a large amount of folks that didn’t have insurance in the last wildfires and it is affordable. It is out there. But most Americans’, most Oklahomans’ our largest financial risk is our home or ranch. And we need to make sure that’s properly insured. Sit down with your agent and go through that ahead of time because if you lose that in a wildfire or a tornado, whatever it might be, that’s a major financial hit.”
You can listen to the full conversation between Ron Hays and John Doak by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
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