Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Smith vem vepc nov 2011


Published on

Agricultural Emergency Preparedness presentation to Vermont Emergency Preparedness Conference

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Smith vem vepc nov 2011

  1. 1. Fire, flood, feed contamination, foot-and-mouth disease. Agricultural disasters can come without warning. How can we be better prepared for the challenges involved in dealing with them? By the end of this session, you will have a better understanding of specific hazards and concerns that may arise from the perspective of both responders and farmers. Resources designed to facilitate agricultural emergency preparedness will be discussed. Dr. Julie Smith is a veterinarian and proponent of preventive health management. This approach has carried over into her interest in agricultural emergency preparedness, particularly planning to address a highly contagious disease disaster such as foot-and-mouth disease of livestock.Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 1
  2. 2. Maintaining the vibrant and diverse agriculture and food businesses in Vermont is important for food security and the economic vitality of the state. Agriculture and food businesses are vulnerable to natural, accidental, and intentional disasters.Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 2
  3. 3. Food and agriculture are a significant piece of the economic engine of Vermont and support other economic drivers such as tourism. Food processing and manufacturing comprise the #2 manufacturing industry in the state.Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 3
  4. 4. There are many types of disasters. It can be helpful to focus on some key consequences that are shared by many disasters. Loss of communications, loss of power, loss of infrastructure, loss of income are all consequences that we are familiar with here in Vermont.Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 4
  5. 5. The slides in this set include several topics not covered at the VEPC in November 2011.Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 5
  6. 6. Recent headlines reveal that Vermont farmers have dealt with many of the consequences discussed earlier. A less common incident, contamination of feed, happened in Germany earlier this year. An exercise I attended in NY last year underscored the challenges with this type of emergency. A YouTube video clip of cattle on the loose on campus can be viewed at: Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 6
  7. 7. In most incidents, ag does take care of itself. Check out this video at: Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 7
  8. 8. What are some concerns when ag needs a hand from local emergency services? This slide presents a few concerns that responders have and a few concerns that farmers would have about the same incident.Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 8
  9. 9. WPTZ reported on a barn fire in Walden, VT, in 2010: Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 9
  10. 10. The Walden fire department did its job well, as the house, not more than 50 feet from the barn, was saved! The report gave a nice overview of the situation but failed to note that the disposal of the carcasses would be overseen by the Agency of Agriculture in conjunction with the Agency of Natural Resources.Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 10
  11. 11. After the fire is out, a couple of other concerns may rise to the forefront. If there are dead animals, they will need to be disposed of. If there are injured animals, they may need to be humanely euthanized. The next slide illustrates proper methods of the latter.Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 11
  12. 12. This information is available to be printed as a 2-sided card with the diagrams on one side and table of appropriate fire power for size and species of animals on the other. Go to: ne%20Euthanasia/Download%20Files/EuthanasiaIndexMulti.pdfVermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 12
  13. 13. A quick scan of the accepted agricultural practices related to carcass burial reveals that there are probably few sites where burial would meet these guidelines in the state of Vermont given our geology and hydrology. Mortality composting may be a more viable option, if suitable carbon materials like wood chips and sawdust are readily available.Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 13
  14. 14. Local and/or state regulations apply. Consult with the appropriate authorities.Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 14
  15. 15. Resources – information as well as knowledgeable and skilled people – are available in Vermont. Highfields Center for Composting has helpful information on their website ( and worked with the Vermont Association of Conservation Districts to produce a video ( Composting.html).Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 15
  16. 16. This diagram, while not exactly to scale, can help you keep the most important features of a properly constructed mortality compost pile in mind. The 2-foot deep base and 2-foot deep cover should not be shortchanged!Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 16
  17. 17. Out of this list of potential agricultural emergencies, the only one I haven’t discussed yet is a disease emergency.Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 17
  18. 18. What were once referred to as “foreign” animal diseases are better thought of as transboundary or emergency diseases. The majority of new diseases identified in the last 50 years have been zoonotic meaning they are transmissible between animals and people. The discovery of certain highly contagious diseases of livestock in the US would be an emergency. The ability to rapidly respond to control and eradicate the disease is essential for the survival of our agricultural economy.Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 18
  19. 19. In the United Kingdom in 2001, a 7 month long outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) affected over 2000 farms and led to the destruction of 6 million animals (almost 5 million were sheep). The UK is only slightly larger than New England. In the most affected part of England, Cumbria, there were 40 infected premises within an hour’s drive. Given that Vermont has 2 of the top 50 dairy counties in the US, Franklin and Addison, it isn’t hard to imagine how challenging it would be to deal with such an emergency here.Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 19
  20. 20. Human pandemic and an animal epidemic like foot-and-mouth disease share a number of similarities.Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 20
  21. 21. One or the other is often used as a “worst case” scenario to drive planning and preparedness efforts. A combination of the 2 might really be the worst case. The non-health implications of these incidents are what most people are uncomfortable thinking about in advance.Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 21
  22. 22. An animal disease emergency is an example of an extreme event that is not familiar to us. Disease control and containment efforts would likely result in the following consequences: restrictions on the movement of animals and animal products, logistical issues surrounding euthanasia and carcass disposal of large numbers of large animals, threats to animal well-being and mental health of animal care-takers, adverse effects on the environments and potentially wildlife, and public concern including the possibility of small and large scale protest activities. If a highly contagious animal disease were to occur anywhere in the US, how would your business be affected? Are you prepared to handle the financial and mental impacts an animal disease outbreak could have on your business or that of farmers in your community?Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 22
  23. 23. Here are some characteristics of foot-and-mouth disease that make is worthy of consideration for a “worst case” scenario to stretch all-hazards preparedness of jurisdictions.Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 23
  24. 24. It is important to note the differences between the response to a “run of the mill” emergency on the left and a plant or animal pest or disease emergency on the right. As an emergency overwhelms local resources in the left-hand flow diagram, requests are made for assistance from same or higher level jurisdictions. On the right, the diagnosis of the problem immediately bring federal authority into the response structure. The state/federal response then needs to reach down for assistance from local resources. This is a very unfamiliar circumstance for traditional emergency services professionals.Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 24
  25. 25. This graphic illustrates an important point in disaster management. For small emergencies, like equipment problems or an endemic disease outbreak, we manage our own affairs for our home or business with help only from our insurance carrier. Planning for these events includes having insurance and money set aside to lessen the hardship. In emergencies that are larger or more challenging, we will rely on local resources to help. Examples include life threatening situations, such as when an ambulance is needed or local police or firefighters are called in. If the situation is more expansive and require more resources to address it, State and Federal authorities become part of the response and provide additional resources. In foreign animal disease outbreaks, State and Federal responses will occur as quickly as possible. However, if the event grows or is very large, local, State and Federal resources are quickly expended because the demands are overwhelming and you are back to YOYO. Surviving and recovering from the upper right YOYO depends on being prepared both in your family and your business. Graphic illustration by Dani Ausen, Iowa State University.Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 25
  26. 26. Local resources will be needed at all levels of response to an animal health emergency such as a highly contagious “foreign” animal disease. Even when state or federal emergency operation plans are activated, local resources like those listed on the right side of this figure may be requested throughout a response.Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 26
  27. 27. What are key components of enhancing Vermont’s capacity to deal with an animal disease emergency? Communication and cooperation at many levels;Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 27
  28. 28. Working knowledge of authorities, policies, and applicable regulations of one’s own agency or organization and the supporting agencies and organizations that would be called into play;Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 28
  29. 29. Use of capabilities-based planning, training, and exercising;Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 29
  30. 30. And access to appropriate resources.Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 30
  31. 31. As physicist Neils Bohr said in reference to knowing the location of atomic particles . ..Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 31
  32. 32. Given our inability to accurately predict infrequent yet high consequence events, we need to spend some time thinking about and preparing for worst cases. This quote is telling. (Quoted by Gerard J. Hoetmer, Executive Director Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI), at 2004 conference.)Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 32
  33. 33. The same idea, more lyrically phrased, is a good way to describe successful emergency response. (Quote from Executive Director of Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI) at 2004 conference.)Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 33
  34. 34. What are some ways that Vermont can enhance agricultural emergency management capabilities? I have listed a few on this slide. (SSF-11 is State Support Function 11, Agriculture and Natural Resources) (VTDART is Vermont Disaster Animal Response Team, currently focused on pet sheltering when people evacuate their homes) (NESAASA, the New England States Animal Agriculture Security Alliance, is our local analog of SAADRA, the Southern Agriculture and Animal Disaster Response Alliance)Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 34
  35. 35. As an Extension faculty member, I have a number of Extension resources to recommend to you on the topic of agricultural emergency preparedness. ReadyAg is an assessment with links to additional resources. The Extension Disaster Education Network has courses and information relevant to a number of disaster topics. The Animal Agrosecurity and Emergency Management course is very comprehensive.Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 35
  36. 36. S-CAP was also developed by the Extension Disaster Education Network. An S- CAP training session was held in Vermont in May 2011. The next slide provides a brief outline of what the course covers.Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 36
  37. 37. I am a certified S-CAP trainer and am willing to provide the training or parts of it within the state, if requested.Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 37
  38. 38. The FDA recently released a set of pre-packaged exercises around food safety topics.Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 38
  39. 39. The resources listed here are focused on animal diseases.Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 39
  40. 40. FBI Agent de la Cuestra has summed up the challenge with food and ag sector protection with this quote. . .Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 40
  41. 41. I simply remind folks that if you eat, you have to recognize your dependence on agriculture. On some occasions agriculture could need your support to survive. It is my goal to enhance Vermont’s capacity to respond to an animal disease or other agricultural emergency. If you are interested in learning more about or participating in these efforts, please contact me at or 802/656-4496. Thank you. (Photo of sign at Roland Bauer family dairy farm, Ringwood Township, IL. Photo courtesy of Kathy Van Wie.)Vermont Emergency PreparednessConference November 2011 41