Code Red for Farm Families

By Keith Robinson - Published March 5, 2015

red barn and farm composition with code red lanyard 

Purdue Extension's Women in Agriculture team has developed a resource to help farm families and owners of other small businesses keep important information handy in the event they need it in an emergency.

Called Code Red, the spreadsheet has two main sections - one for personal information and the other for business information.

In the event of an emergency, the business would be able to continue in a timely fashion and with minimal disruption because of the resource of Code Red, said Kelly Heckaman, Women in Agriculture committee co-chair and an Extension educator in Kosciusko County.

"The crisis may be only for a short time, or it may be a long-term change in the operation, but the need for timely information about the people in the operation and their contacts are very important," Heckaman said. "We hope this resource will help farm families turn a code red situation into a code green and the business can continue to operate."

The spreadsheet keeps important information such as passwords, bank account information, rental agreements, insurance papers and power-of-attorney documents in one location.

"It should become the go-to tool if something happened to a key member of the management team," Heckaman said.

Women in Agriculture has set up training sessions across the state to introduce Code Red. Presenters will go over security controls, such as where to store the document and the option of protecting access to it with a password. Attorneys will be at some of the programs to discuss the importance of wills, trusts and power-of-attorney documents.