The following links take you to EDEN State Reports that were collected at the 2006 EDEN Annual Meeting in Nashville, TN. These reports offer state and county level disaster education and management activities as reported by EDEN POCs.
Agents in directly affected counties helped distribute food, water, and supplies to hard-hit areas and to link survivors with local resources such as food banks, health departments, Social Security offices, insurance offices, and other agencies providing assistance. Extension employees in the state offices (Auburn and Alabama A & M) went to work to gather and distribute educational materials, find contacts and provide support to those on the front lines. News stories and blogs were posted to Extension’s Web site. Emergency funding was secured to facilitate educational programs for home builders in the hurricane and flood prone areas. Regional, state, and federal resources were researched and posted to the Extension Web site. We offered relief staffing for Mississippi and Louisiana Extension offices, supported collaboration among agencies to distribute publications to families in temporary housing, and produced training materials for teachers and agents on helping children cope with disasters.
Immediately prior to the start of the 2006 hurricane season, we burned CDs of After the Disaster, 2006: Helpful Information in Times of Crisis and Disaster and shipped copies to all 67 counties. The CD contains 85 documents—publications, posters and timely information sheets—grouped in the categories of food safety, financial management, insurance, family, home and lawn, farm, and recipes. As of October 9, none of the county staffs have had to use the CD. We plan to send an updated CD to the counties each May.
Green Industry Emergency Plan
I received grant funding in 2005 to provide a tool to help members of the green industry (greenhouse, floriculture, sod) through emergencies or disasters. The training was to be a hands-on workshop that included an interactive exercise focusing on procedures for sustaining productive capacity through market and production interruptions. It was to also include expert presentations, peer interaction, and a risk aversion assessment. We developed a Web site for producers (www.greenindustryemergencyplan.com) that provides an off-premise location for storing records and a business continuity plan. We then offered the 4-hour training session at the 2006 Gulf States Horticultural Expo in Mobile, Alabama. Even with the lure of a free lunch, no one signed up. Since then the Southern Nursery Association has agreed to take over the Web site. As part of the session for pesticide applicator safety at the 2007 Expo, and with the incentive of CEUs, I will offer an abbreviated session for the producers.
H5N1 Bird Flu In-Service Trainings
In the spring of 2006 scientists expected the first case of H5N1 bird flu virus in the United States to show up in Alaska. To prepare Alaska Cooperative Extension Service faculty and staff for this possibility, two in-service trainings were held via distance delivery.
Milan Shipka, Livestock Specialist; Debra Damron, Director of Communications; and Linda Tannehill, EDEN Point of Contact, represented our planning committee. To streamline the information we thought was important to share, we divided the avian influenza issue into two segments- animal issues and human health issues.
The animal issues’ training, held on April 12 was taught by Dr. Robert Gerlach, Alaska State Veterinarian and Dr. Mike Philo, APHIS representative. They explained the important details of the virus, reliable sources of information, and who would be involved in the extensive surveillance programs in Alaska.
Dr. Richard Mandsager, Director of Alaska Division of Public Health, taught the human health issues’ training held on May 2. Dr. Mandsager explained the plan that is in place for Alaska and the potential human health risks associated with the H5N1 virus.
The format for both trainings was a 15-20 minute presentation by our experts with the remaining 40-45 minutes left for questions, answers and comments. Both sessions went longer than the predicted one hour because of questions generated by faculty and staff participants. Washington and Oregon EDEN POC’s were invited to participate, anticipating there might be a need for regional communication and coordination.
We followed up on these trainings by providing each Extension office with a packet of information from reliable websites. We plan to keep the packets updated by emailing website information to the offices.
Institutional Utility Outage Planning
This year, the University of Connecticut found several power and heat disruptions pointed to a number of limitations in its emergency management systems. Planning had been developed to address catastrophic situations and outside police, fire and first responders, but more localized situation and security planning was not as robust. The EDEN POC was asked to participate in a major review of vulnerable equipment and systems on the main campus. A number of interesting concerns emerged from surveys, which could be relevant to other campus and utility reviews. A sampling of issues included:
No way of prioritizing emergency work by Facilities Maintenance and Repair.
No comprehensive coordination with fire, police and other emergency contact call lists, and health and safety personnel lists. Several separate call lists existed, some for the same purpose, and access was limited to the group that controlled the list. The more critical the situation, the better the list was, but many functions in buildings and staff responsible were “under the radar”
Cogeneration electric facilities, installed to take advantage of alternative fuels and create redundant systems, automatically switched off during large town outages in some scenarios to prevent power grid damage. This actually caused wider spread outages.
Some types of emergencies were certainly not life threatening, but could cause severe (career ending) damage to research.
A finer detailed approach was needed for some buildings, such as greenhouses eg, no heat conditions, could be tolerated if the sun was out but not if it were dark. Agricultural buildings (over 80) were spread over a wide area and difficult for central response staff to know about and understand.
Newer energy management systems for structures are monitored through the campus network. Not all switches and routers of the IT network had electrical backup, meaning there was no way to directly tell if the building had power or heat if these communications were lost.
Some new card swipe locks with battery backup failed in the open unlocked position, allowing access to restricted areas. The university is developing net ID card lock access to many facilities, so this would be a growing problem if not remedied.
Not all research freezers are on generator backup, and requests for labs and their placement should include emergency needs determinations.
The review process is continuing and will provide a more comprehensive, efficient response to energy systems that are disrupted. If your institution is interested I will be happy to share the results when they are internally released.
Florida State Agricultural Response Team (SART) – www.flsart.org
This program is operated by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and is fully integrated into the ESF-17 Animals and Agriculture support function of state and county emergency management. UF Cooperative Extension is a primary partner in this effort and Carol Lehtola is in charge of training curriculum development. Training materials cover areas such as: Creating a County SART, Introduction to SART, Introduction to Aquaculture, Disaster and Pets, and Foreign Animal Disease Recognition. A complete list of training materials is available at the Florida SART Web site. (Carol Lehtola reporting)
Disaster and Mental Health
A second edition of “Triumph over Tragedy: A Community Response to Managing Trauma in Times of Disaster and Terrorism” was published by Garrett Evans and Brenda Wiens of UF’s College of Public Health and Health Professions and the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. This comprehensive guide covers helping communities prepare, helping immediately after a disaster, helping individuals, and long-term recovery. The publication is available in electronic form at: http://srdc.msstate.edu/disaster. In the last year, Wiens has put this information into practice by consulting with Mississippi Extension on a support group for survivors of Hurricane Katrina. (Brenda Wiens reporting)
Disaster and Seniors
Carolyn Wilken of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service has prepared a series of publications concerning the elderly and disaster. Carolyn is a specialist in elder needs. The titles in the series so far are:
• Disaster Planning Tips for Senior Adults
• Preparing for a Disaster: Strategies for Older Adults
• Disaster Planning Tips for Caregivers of the Elderly and People with Disabilities
All three publications are available through the Extension Publication Web site, EDIS, at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu. (Carolyn Wilken reporting)
Hurricane Wilma: Extension Interfaces with Collier County Bureau of Emergency Management
After years of not being represented within the disaster management arena, during Hurricanes Katrina and especially Wilma, the Collier County UF /IFAS Extension is now a member of the Collier County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) preparedness team. Extension functions as chief collaborator with Domestic Animal Services for animal/livestock rescue and farm damage estimates (ESF-17). In 2006 during Ernesto, the extension team joined Domestic Animal Services as the EOC monitored storm activity, attended EOC daily briefings and provided agricultural community information. (Robert Halman reporting)
Hurricane Preparedness and Response Seminars
Throughout April and May, the Collier County UF/IFAS Extension office offered a series of 7 different seminars twice weekly, featuring topics such as trees and hurricane stress, children’s role in disaster planning, food and water supply, tree and shrub selection, pet safety, preparing your home and securing important papers. As a finale to this series, Collier County citizens attended a Hurricane Preparedness Expo at the extension office featuring over 25 storm-related businesses, public and private disaster organizations and government agencies. (Robert Halman reporting)
Assessing Damage and Restoring Trees after a Hurricane
This new publication prepared for Florida Cooperative Extension by urban forestry specialists covers all aspects of the topic. Topics include: Cleaning Up after a Hurricane, Safety Comes First!, Choosing the Right Tree Care Professional, Assessing Damage, Restoration Pruning, Palms and Pines, Prevention, and Wind-Resistant Species. This information will be the basis of an Extension in-service in late October. This publication is available through the Extension Publication Web site, EDIS, at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu. (Carol Lehtola reporting)
Hawaii has been remarkably quiet for a number of years now in terms of disasters with no significant events to report.
However, on Sunday, October 14 a 6.7 Richter scale earthquake occurred at 7:10 am about 6 miles off the Kohala Coast of Hawaii island. It was quickly followed by a 6.0 aftershock. They were not strong enough to generate a tsunami. Miraculously no lives were lost and the most serious injury reported was a broken arm, although there was one fatality from a fire that is believed to have been started by a candle that was used for light because of the power outage caused by the earthquake on Oahu island. Power was finally restored to all customers on Oahu Island at about 2:30 Monday morning. Power on the Big Island was lost only momentarily or not at all.
Only local first responders were required. There was no need for the activation of the National Guard or other disaster response agencies. We are very fortunate that it occurred on Sunday morning.
Although still early, damage estimates are climbing and currently at $76 million. Damage was extensive to schools, homes, utility infrastructure, highways, and piers, within about a 50 mile radius of the epicenter. Many of Hawaii’s older homes are wooden frame buildings built on “post and piers” and although they are very resistant to earthquake damage because of their flexibility, many of them moved off their foundations.
Because the Civil Defense in Hawaii has been traditionally well organized and established EDEN is still working to find a niche in disaster response. We are working with State Departments of Agriculture and Health to address the Avian Influenza issue primarily assisting in educational efforts and collection of samples of dead migratory birds.
I would like to extend an invitation to host the 2007 EDEN Annual Meeting in Hawaii. My recommendation is to hold it in Hilo, Hawaii on the east side of the Big Island because of its history of being the site of two tsunamis, and its proximity to the volcanoes.
The severe weather season in Illinois got off to a tough start in March and April. On the evening of March 12, two F-2 tornadoes struck Springfield, the state capital, and nearby communities. Commercial, industrial and residential areas were hit and damage in Springfield exceeded $20-million. There was one fatality outside of town and several minor injuries in the city.
Because two distinct tornadoes, one with a half-mile wide path, struck the city, utility damage in particular was widespread. The city operates its own power plant so repair crews were quickly overwhelmed and power was off to a large part of the community for an extended period, even as crews from other utilities arrived to help.
Two weeks later another tornado and severe thunderstorm outbreak, accompanied by heavy-wet snow, caused additional damage, and two weeks after that a third round of storms pounded the area.
Extension was affected by the storm on two levels, as a victim and a provider of information. There are two Extension offices in Springfield, an administrative office for the West Central region and a county/center office located on the state fairgrounds. The regional office building was in the path of one of the tornadoes and suffered substantial roof damage. Fortunately, the storm was so fast moving that there was little rain behind the tornadoes and equipment and records were not seriously damaged. Restoring power to the fairgrounds was a priority because the state Department of Agriculture and the Department of Natural Resources are headquartered there, so regional operations were relocated to the county/center office. (In Illinois, center offices house educators shared by several counties.)
On the response side, the educators quickly accessed and began distributing fact sheets on food spoilage because of the power outages, contractor selection, stress, and tree damage, among other topics. Several of the educators were already regular contributors to print media and guests on electronic media so their contacts were calling them for information before dawn broke the morning after the storm.
Throughout the spring and summer, as the city recovered, Extension educators continued to provide information about available help, restoring vegetation, dealing with contractors and selecting replacement appliances.
The weather quieted down after April and, by mid-September, we were back to only a slightly above average number of tornadoes. Elsewhere around the state things remained quiet until two lines of severe storms, including damaging straight line winds, crossed from the St. Louis area into Illinois just three days apart. Again, utility damage was extensive. The line of storms raced across the southern part of the state and around a dozen Extension offices were temporarily closed until the utility situation stabilized. Again, Extension took the lead in distributing information about food safety and related issues as a result of the power outages.
Focus on Education in Disaster Management
Purdue Extension emphasized education as our involvement in disaster management. For that reason, the Purdue Extension Emergency Management and Education Team (EMET) wrote guidelines for county staff’s involvement in the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP). These guidelines state that Purdue Extension educators play a support role in the CEMP for any of the emergency support functions.
In the 1990’s, Purdue Extension became – by default – the lead agency on animal disaster issues in many counties. Our move to a support agency at the local level hasn’t been easy in all counties but, in the end, has allowed Purdue Extension to do more for more emergency support functions. One example was that Purdue Extension helped facilitate setting up the Emergency Operations Center in Warrick County after tornadoes struck and killed 22 people in 2005. Also, more people are aware that Purdue Extension educational resources are helpful. The Director of the Hope Crisis Network, Kevin Cox, said that if more people used the resources from the Purdue Extension/EDEN site, their job in disaster recovery would be easier.
The Indiana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (IN-VOAD) invited Purdue Extension to become a full member in their state organization. The goal is to form a partnership to increase disaster education opportunities. This may allow Purdue Extension to receive some funds to develop and deliver disaster courses.
More than 100,000 people per year visit the Disaster Recovery Resources for Indiana Web site http://www.extension.purdue.edu/eden/. A Webtrends analysis showed spikes in usage of the Web site after several floods and tornadoes struck Indiana.
Graduate-Level Distance Education Course
Abigail Borron and Steve Cain were invited instructors for a new homeland security course that is part of a graduate level certification program in the Purdue Homeland Security Institute and is open to anyone. The course, Veterinarian's Role in Community Planning, is a companion to the first course, Introduction to Veterinary Homeland Security. Both are distance learning courses presenting introductory material on a variety of topics in veterinary homeland security. For more information go to: http://www.biosecuritycenter.org/.
Emergency Management Courses
Purdue Extension again taught two statewide courses for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. Abigail Borron and Steve Cain were the course instructors for Effective Communication and Public Information Officer training.
Cooperative Extension Agents, veterinarians, and other rural healthcare extenders are being trained via the Agroterrorism and Disaster Preparedness Program to respond to disasters, terrorism, and public health emergencies. The courses, which are provided via videoconference, internet, and face-to-face presentations, contain subjects selected from six areas to provide a well-rounded training curriculum:
• General Preparedness and Recovery
Basics of emergency management, components of disaster preparedness and recovery, preparedness at special events, and the use of the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) are outlined. The role of the participant in disaster response is also addressed.
• Communication Skills
The ability to identify and resolve conflict in all stages is taught and demonstrated. Participants are also trained to work with the media and learn how to provide information without spreading fear in the public. Practice interview sessions in front of a live camera provide participants an opportunity to put learned skills into practice.
• Natural Disasters and Severe Weather
Knowing how to recognize and respond to natural disasters and severe weather is an essential component of disaster preparedness. Training provided in conjunction with the National Weather Service provides the tools for offices to become StormReady Supporter Certified.
• Bioterrorism, Food Safety, and Farm Security
Agroterrorism is identified as a public health issue. Safety and security of farms and the food supply are addressed. Defining the history, symptoms, methods, and effects of bioterrorist attacks increase recognition and response to future bioterrorist events.
• Plant Issues
Development of the Digital Consultation System provides tools for a more prompt diagnosis of insects, weeds, and diseases. The First Detector program trains Extension Agents to be first-responders during an outbreak of an exotic, threatening disease.
• Animal Issues
Proper implementation of biosecurity procedures, disease reporting protocols, disease traceback systems, and recognition of emerging zoonotic and exotic diseases, are all vital public health issues that are emphasized.
Enduring educational materials have also been provided by the Agroterrorism and Disaster Preparedness Program. Disaster Preparedness Manuals have been distributed to each of the 120 Cooperative Extension Offices throughout Kentucky and new material is delivered as content is updated. An electronic newsletter, Preparedness Perspectives, is being published every quarter which contains information about current issues and training opportunities.
Resources pertaining to the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Agroterrorism and Disaster Preparedness Program can be found on the Kentucky Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) website located at http://wwwagwx.ca.uky.edu/EDEN/EDEN.html. Contact Andrea Husband via telephone at (859) 257-7868 or email at email@example.com for more information.
The University of Kentucky Agroterrorism and Disaster Preparedness Program reached 1,119 individuals including Cooperative Extension Service (CES) Agents in 100% of all Kentucky counties, veterinarians, law enforcement officials, emergency service managers, and healthcare professionals.
Educational opportunities include an internet-based training course on the National Animal Identification System. The course can be accessed by logging onto http://www.cecp-online.org/ and enrolling in the course titled, “Animal Identification: What Does It Mean to the Cattle Industry?” Additional web-based courses are currently in development.
Digital Consulting System
Microscopes and digital camera set-ups have been purchased and distributed to various counties across the state for use with the Digital Consulting System (DCS). This technology provides CES Agents the tools for a more prompt diagnosis of insects, weeds, and diseases. From September 1, 2005 through July 21, 2006, 172 cases of plant diseases and 25 cases of weeds (the weed portion has only been active since April) have been submitted to the DCS. Samples were submitted from over 45% of the counties in Kentucky. Most cases are closed within a few hours. The DCS website is located on the internet at http://agwrhse.ca.uky.edu/DCS/.
Statewide Severe Weather Information
County-specific hazardous weather information and resources have been developed for Kentucky Emergency Managers and Storm Spotters at http://wwwagwx.ca.uky.edu/emergency.html. In addition, web-accessible PDA’s and cell phones may use the new “Ag Weather on the Go” system. The free weather service is on the web at http://wwwagwx.ca.uky.edu/pda.shtml.
Nationwide Severe Weather Information
By organizing information from the National Weather Service and the Storm Prediction Center, Tom Priddy, the University of Kentucky EDEN Point of Contact, has created web pages for EDEN members to easily access real-time severe weather information for every state.
StormReady Supporter Certification
Criteria have been developed for the National Weather Service (NWS) for CES Offices to become StormReady Supporter certified (http://wwwagwx.ca.uky.edu/criteria2.htm). Breathitt County in Kentucky was the first CES Office in the nation to become StormReady Supporter certified by the NWS. As an incentive, CES Offices that complete the StormReady Supporter Certification program receive a free NOAA SAME weather radio.
Preparedness Perspectives: The Agroterrorism and Disaster Awareness Newsletter is being published every quarter and addresses current issues and training opportunities. Archives of the electronic newsletter are located on the internet at http://www.ca.uky.edu/anr/at_gp.htm.
With funding from EDEN, development of an Animal Emergency and Biosecurity Management Course should be completed towards the end of 2007. In addition, in partnership with a consulting firm, Tetra Tech, guidelines for the Establishment of a State Agriculture Response Team (SART) for Kentucky will be created. Funding for the SART guidelines is provided by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and will be submitted for review in early 2007. Also, in cooperation with the University of Louisville, a pilot project is testing the dissemination of disaster preparedness, emergency, and weather related information to producers through podcasting. The pilot project is expected to last 6 months.
Maine is in its sixth year of a crop insurance education program aimed at teaching growers and producers about the potential benefits of crop insurance in managing production risk associated with weather-related disaster. Funded by the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA), growers learn about the various policies available to them as well as the significant premium subsidies provided by the Federal government.
For several years, a team comprised of Extension, NRCS, and State officials has been working on appropriate disposal of animal carcasses in the event of an outbreak of a highly pathogenic disease such as foot and mouth or avian flu. Research into the many methods of destroying these animal remains has lead to the conclusion that the most cost-effective, low-risk, and low-tech method is on-farm composting. A compost pile completely surrounds the carcass so as to prevent water contamination and scavenging by other animals; the materials necessary are easily accessible either on-farm or nearby in the community; and the high temperatures that are achieved in a properly constructed pile kill the disease organisms within days and cause rapid decomposition. The best feedstocks, site locations, and methods of pile construction have been identified for the compost piles necessary to dispose of anything from a backyard flock of chickens to the entire inventory of the State’s largest egg-laying operation. Test piles have been constructed for cows, horses, ducks, and chickens. Some farmers are already using this method to dispose of their deceased animals, regardless of the cause of death. The resulting compost is safe (and beneficial) to apply to fields.
The State of Maryland is a major hub for world travel and its close proximity to Washington, DC makes it a potential target for acts that threaten agro-security. And natural disasters are a fact of life. Our communities must be able to identify potential threats and act appropriately to eliminate them, as well as be prepared to respond to and recover from all types of hazards.
Plan of Action
Maryland Cooperative Extension has obtained Homeland Security grant funding for the past 2 years to form the Center for Agrosecurity and Emergency Management (CAEM), a collaborative effort between the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) and the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA). This initiative benefits the agricultural/ rural community by coordinating emergency preparedness, response and recovery through education, outreach and communications, helping to ensure the agricultural and food defense of the state and the nation. Both organizations have strong relationships with other state and federal agencies, industry groups and organizations allowing the Center to augment its capabilities through these partnerships. In addition, an Extension Disaster Focus Team advises and supports Center activities. Also, we continue to investigate more stable funding for the Center.
• Formation of the Agricultural Local Emergency Response Team (ALERT) network – Extension faculty and Department of Agriculture field staff throughout the state who are the Center’s “eyes and ears”. ALERT members have received training and credentialing on many levels, and we are approaching NIMS compliance.
• Networking – partnerships are continually being built and strengthened, currently with over 40 state agencies and private organizations (and even at the international level) to put agriculture “at the table” in emergency management.
• Information transfer – our faculty have developed 10 one-page “tip sheets” on topics such as Avian Influenza, and most recently E-coli. In addition, awareness level materials on farm security and “what to report to authorities” are being used in educational programs. We have provided farm signage for biosecurity and Animal Health Watch (Foreign Animal Disease) information cards.
• Presentations – awareness level and more detailed presentations and a professional display have been developed and are being used by faculty and others, as well as a hands-on awareness demonstration for the general public to discuss emergency preparedness by making “tiny tornados”.
• Preliminary efforts have been made to form a Mid-Atlantic agrosecurity partnership of Extension and Department of Agriculture representatives.
• Participating on the EDEN eXtension Agrosecurity Community of Practice.
• The Center has been invited to provide educational presentations and displays to over 40 stakeholder organizations to discuss agrosecurity and agriculture’s role in emergency management. As a result of our outreach, the Center continues to receive requests.
• We are helping to define how agriculture fits into the Homeland Security Presidential Directives and emergency management in general through our networking. Several Extension faculty have volunteered to help staff the State Emergency Operations Center during activation and others serve in their counties.
• We have been instrumental in the development of the Maryland State Animal Response Team (MDSART), a non-profit organization. The Center will be represented on the board.
• Identified Ag resources available for Hurricane Katrina/Rita recovery. Partners worked collaboratively to identify resources available from Maryland and manned the partial activation at MEMA. Provided initial contact for two tons of animal feed (agricultural and companion) that were sent to the Gulf.
• Worked collaboratively with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Department of Agriculture to help develop a Volunteer Veterinary Corps. At least 50 Vets and Vet techs have volunteered to be a part of the effort.
• June 2006 – Gathered and provided up-to-date reports on agricultural damage during a serious flooding event in 2 Maryland Counties, to the emergency management system and administration. The ALERT network received a Governor’s citation for our work.
Michigan State University Extension continues to provide educational programming related to emergency management, homeland security and wildfire mitigation. By being a “good neighbor” to other agencies and organizations, MSUE organization has been well-accepted by other organizations and we have been invited to 1) serve on many committees and groups, 2) present at state and national conferences, and 3) provide expertise/advice and secure presenters on various subjects.
Here are activities, groups, presentations and projects that MSUE has been involved with over the last 12 months:
• Invited to participate as a full member of the Michigan Avian Influenza Interagency Workgroup which has been working to prepare and protect the state with regard to the Asian strain of H5N1 avian influenza. Two fact sheets have been written by MSUE on 1) what the public should know about AI, and 2) the safeguards that are in place to protect the poultry industry food supply.
• Working with the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) and Michigan State Police Emergency Management & Homeland Security Division (EMHSD) to provide radiological training to MDA and MSUE field staff as it relates to agricultural issues.
• Working with the MDA Office of the State Veterinarian to author a county animal emergency response annex template. This template will be made available to county emergency coordinators as a template to develop an animal annex in their county EM plan. This is supported by EMHSD, the Michigan Veterinary Medical Association, Michigan Association of Animal Control Officers, Michigan Humane Society, and county EM coordinators.
• Partnering with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the MSU Department of Horticulture to write a “first ever” comprehensive Extension bulletin on wildfire-resistant landscape plants for Michigan (and the Great Lakes area). Michigan has 8,000-10,000 wildfires per year.
• 2006 AG EXPO (farm show) Farm Safety & Security Tent with multiple agencies participating.
• Invited presentations to:
o Michigan Emergency Management Summit (Fall 2005) – Effective Presentations
o Great Lakes Homeland Security Conference (Spring 2006) – Animal Emergencies
o National Firewise Conference in Denver (Fall 2006) – MSUE/MDNR Partnering
o Michigan Emergency Management Summit (Fall 2006) – Animal Response Plans
o Michigan Emergency Management Summit (Fall 2006) – Effective Meetings
o Michigan Animal Welfare Conference (Fall 2006) – Animal Response Plans
Drought and Tornado Response of the Agriculture, Food, and Environment (AFE) Extension Capacity Area
An extended dry period (June-August 2006) created stress conditions for many of the state’s cropping regions. Extension's response was comprehensive providing leadership and information to the agricultural and horticultural communities. Extension Specialists provided leadership to task forces and committees, and contributed to a major media effort to inform key audiences. A drought web site was an effective product in reaching stakeholders. Another natural disaster, a tornado, occurred in south central Minnesota in August devastating crops and impacting many agricultural operations. Extension's response was swift in providing in-field resources to assess impact and recommend next steps. Numerous local and regional faculty contributed to this farm-by-farm response. (Contributor: Mike Schmitt, Associate Dean and AFE Capacity Area Leader, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Completion of Comprehensive MN-EDEN Programming Plan
Beginning in September 2005, the University of Minnesota Extension Service undertook a major initiative to develop a comprehensive program-based plan to better organize and coordinate its response activities. The plan is predicated on an educational programming response that is consistent with state and federal response frameworks enhancing internal and external communications and opportunities for funding. Plan implementation is underway. During 2006 spring flooding in the Red River Valley, the plan was tested. Conference calls were held with educators and regional directors up and down the Valley. Information about educational needs was collected and passed forward to specialists and educators. Two hotlines played a role; Farm Information Line - FIL and one for consumers. (Contributor: John Shutske, email@example.com)
Bovine Tuberculosis Education
Following an outbreak of Bovine TB cases in NW Minnesota, state agencies (Agriculture and the Board of Animal Health) worked with USDA-APHIS to set up an incident operations center in St. Paul to manage the incident. Extension was a key part of the effort, co-sponsoring the official TB-related educational events statewide (10 total). The Beef program team incorporated timely information into its normal winter education events reaching 900 producers in the affected area. (Contributor: Lori Schott, firstname.lastname@example.org)
FSI Minnesota: Food Security Investigation
This educational program was co-sponsored by the UM Extension Service and the Center for Public Health Preparedness. Approximately 70 agriculture and food system professionals (representing food processing, commodity groups, government agencies, consultants, and others) participated in a multi-day (16 hours) program series that featured on-site identification of food security and business-preparedness issues at a range of field sites (farms, processors, retailers). Participants demonstrated an ability (via pre- and post-tests and actual identification of vulnerabilities at sites) to identify specific vulnerabilities and make appropriate control recommendations as a result of the program. (Contributor: John Shutske, email@example.com)
OnGuard: Protecting America’s Food System
This EDEN-funded, four-hour educational curriculum designed for use by Extension educators nationwide was completed after extensive pilot testing in a range of locations with several hundred participants. OnGuard was designed for general lay audiences to help them understand their role in protecting the national food system in concert with private business and government. A second version (OnGuard Pro) is being developed using funds from the USDA National Integrated Food Safety Initiative and will similarly be made available via the EDEN website. (Contributor: John Shutske, firstname.lastname@example.org)
H5N1 Avian Influenza & Live Bird Markets and CDC-Funded Center
Several Minnesota efforts have focused on both the bird and human implications of H5N1 Avian Influenza (and the potential for a human pandemic). Field research funded by the Minnesota Experiment Station’s Rapid Response fund initiative has allowed Extension faculty and research staff to better understand the complex “live bird market” system favored by Asian consumers in the Twin Cities metro area. Educational programs have been developed targeting Asian audiences through culturally appropriate venues such as conferences and “Hmong radio.” Additionally, Minnesota is a recent recipient of a large CDC-funded research and outreach center that will focus on H5N1 and other high consequence animal diseases with public health implications. The center’s work will include research and control strategy development for various at-risk audiences including small-scale poultry producers, duck hunters, and citizens who use lakes inhabited by high densities of waterfowl. (Contributor: John Shutske and Jacquie Jacob, email@example.com)
Agricultural and Food System Preparedness Staff Development
In May 2006, 45 Extension staff participated in a day-long educational conference that covered issues of climate-change implications on disasters, food system emergencies, risk communications best practices, Incident Command System, and program implications for work in crops, livestock, and food systems. A three-DVD video was produced as well as a resource website. The training has lead to follow-up events and network-building activities such as an ICS training session for ag/food county-based Extension Educators in fall 2006. (Contributor: John Shutske, firstname.lastname@example.org)
University of Missouri Extension Emergency Management Programming:
Mizzou’s emergency management programming has two focuses within the state, it is comprised of efforts in cooperative extension through the community development program and through continuing education via the Fire and Rescue Training Institute. With this dual approach UME is able to provide a wide variety of educational services to the communities and citizens of Missouri.
Three Presidential disaster declarations in 2006:
UME has supported three separate disaster declarations in Missouri in 2006. It began with severe storms in March, a heat emergency and storms in late July and September storms and flooding. Each offered unique challenges but the “regional team” concept along with trained and seasoned UME faculty and staff has enabled UME to support response and recovery efforts in each incidence. UME developed and maintained a regional response approach since 2002 and has supported state efforts in numerous emergencies and declared disasters. Through education of faculty, serving on state-wide committees, in service education in emergency management and our continuous presence in Missouri counties we have forged a workable and supportive model.
EDEN Biosecurity Course revision:
With savings from the original publishing of the EDEN Plant Biosecurity course, UME was able to develop an update of the online offering and develop a new instructor package for field specialists to deliver in a classroom setting. The new instructor materials will be sent to each EDEN state by the end of the year. Changes include an improved instructor manual, improved visuals and updated scenarios.
4H Geospatial project:
UME’s 4H program approached extension’s Community Emergency Management Program as to how a growing 4H program focusing on technology (specifically GPS/GIS) could be used to support homeland security objectives. In a “post Katrina” environment, the idea of using 4H youth to locate and document potential emergency shelters seemed a natural fit. A short course was developed explaining hazards and the need for shelter information as well as a new data collection system based on American Red Cross shelter forms. This was pilot tested, refined and deployed. To date, other states are considering using this program in collaboration with local emergency management and Red Cross needs for shelter information using GPS and GIS data.
Camp Fire USA (CFUSA) project:
UME’s emergency management program coordinator was approached by Camp Fire USA as they prepare to launch a new youth engagement program in homeland security/emergency management. Referred by the university’s community development program, the CFUSA looks to engage youth in useful civic activities. CFUSA was looking for guidance and quality curriculum regarding emergency management and youth activities that could support local government efforts in emergency management. The curriculum recommended was North Dakota State University’s introduction to emergency management and family preparedness online courses and other references to the EDEN web site.
4H Youth Civic Leaders Summit – Katrina relived exercise:
UME’s emergency management program coordinator was asked to develop and deliver a program for youth on the complexities and difficult civic decision-making issues in New Orleans before and during hurricane Katrina. The program was a tabletop exercise format with overviews of the storm’s track, followed by local. state and federal decisions during the storm/event. The participants were assigned roles as key local, state or federal officials and made decisions about public safety, response and recovery. This was a VERY emotional event for all the young participants but provided an illuminating learning experience for them about emergency management, catastrophic disaster events and politics.
University Exercises –Tornado hits campus and Stadium Evacuation:
After a successful table top exercise with senior university officials focusing on a severe weather event hitting the main university campus, the UME Fire and Rescue Training Institute Exercise and Evaluation program specialist was asked to work with the MU athletic department to assist them with a football stadium evacuation exercise. This tabletop again focused on a severe weather event that could affect the stadium during a sold-out event. This issue has yet to be resolved during the emergency planning process for the football stadium. The objective was to give athletic department officials several inputs from the supporting response disciplines for additional planning considerations. Another exercise is being considered to test the outcomes of the exercise.
Division of Social Services training:
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Missouri’s cabinet level departments were required to review their assigned roles under the state plan. In response to that review, the Division of Socials Services asked SEMA to provide a basic introductory course as well as mass care management training to its key employees around the state. SEMA contracted with UME for two classes to be delivered 6 times around the state as well as one Train-the-Trainer for each class. This has led to additional training inquires from other departments.
• Pandemic Flu – Pan Flu continues to be a priority issue and UME is on several local and state level committees addressing this issue.
• Disasters and animals – UME is represented on state-wide animal committees to include domestic pets and livestock.
• Ready business – UME worked on the EDEN committee for the Ready Business curriculum.
• Pandemic Influenza Preparedness for Faith-based Organizations – UME is participating with this EDEN committee to develop this curriculum.
The past year in New Mexico has been consumed by a multitude of agrosecurity trainings and exercises. We have averaged 500 persons in trainings per month since the last quarter of 2005. Trainings have been held for the following audiences:
1. Food Producers
3. Cattle ranchers
4. Dairy Producers
5. Sheep Producers
7. Native American Pueblos and Nations
8. Fire, law enforcement, and county emergency managers
9. Elected officials at local and state level
10. Agriculture in the classroom
11. Cooperative Extension, state department of agriculture, and livestock board inspectors
12. Other governmental agencies
We have also held two tabletop exercises. One for all the 30 plus agencies that would be involved in a agricultural incident in the state and another for the states of California, Arizona, Texas and New Mexico plus the six northern states in Mexico. These two exercises included over 200 persons.
We have hosted training programs in cooperation with the Western Institute of Food Safety and Security at UC Davis, the National Center for Biomedical Research and Training Academy of Counter Terrorism at LSU, Kirkwood Community College's Animal Security Course, and the School of Veterinary Medicine at University of Tennessee.
We held two state conferences this year. One for law enforcement and other first responders and a second for Cooperative Extension, New Mexico Department of Agriculture, and New Mexico Livestock Board.
We also formed the Southwest Border Center for Food Safety and Defense to handle the training and exercises. Funding was provided to Extension by the New Mexico Office of Emergency Management in excess of $250,000.
We teamed with Citizen Corps to fund the New Mexico Agroguard program which is an agriculture community watch program. Six state agencies are co-sponsors and we have distributed thousands of signs and window decals. Citizen Corp funded this program through Extension for $40,000.
New Mexico Cooperative Extension, in partnership with the New Mexico State Department of Agriculture, has obtained protective equipment and other response equipment to enable us to respond to a situation safely. All our first detectors/responders are ICS/NIMS compliant and carry a certification card.
We regularly meet with the US Attorneys Office and the Joint Terrorism Task Force of the FBI. We are members of the state biosecurity working group which is a multi-agency committee. Agriculture is recognized as one of the top vulnerabilities in New Mexico and treated accordingly.
A major flood in June and an unexpected snowfall in October occurred in New York resulting in disaster situations in several counties of the state. These two events provided the challenge that NY EDEN be recognized as a valuable supplier of resources to aid Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Associations in assisting the public in recovery measures. In the flooding event, links to appropriate information on flood recovery and assistance for flood victims were immediately available to the county associations via email. When special requests for specific information were made, we contacted the EDEN listserv and were thankful for the excellent response from members all over the country.
On October 13th, an unpredicted storm dumped almost two feet of heavy snow on the city of Buffalo and a 25 mile neighboring region. Because leaves were still on the trees, over 60% of trees were damaged or destroyed and widespread power outages lasted for almost a week. NY EDEN was asked by Extension Administration to provide recovery resources and participate in conference calls with the Extension Directors in the affected counties and assist in coordinating their efforts to address the immediate and long-term recovery issues associated with the storm. Both of these natural disasters have helped to demonstrate that NY EDEN can and should play a major role of assistance to both Extension and the public.
During the past year we developed and conducted workshops on personal emergency preparedness for Extension staff, conducted table top exercise for Extension Directors on CCE’s role in local/regional/statewide emergencies and continued to coordinate ICS 100 classes for university staff. We also presented an overview of EDEN to a conference of safety professionals of the state university system and a pandemic preparedness planning workshop for a business group. To further promote EDEN, we developed a display and provided educational materials at major farm shows in New York during the year. Finally, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture & Markets, we provided all CCE Associations with handouts on avian influenza for the general public.
In March, an electronic survey of CCE Executive Directors was conducted to ascertain their interest in programs or assistance in addressing a variety of emergency preparedness issues. We felt their input was important in determining the direction of the program in our state. The response rate was encouraging – 31.5% (18/57) with the following issues deemed most important: personal/office preparedness, table top exercises, biosecurity for animal agriculture and youth educational materials (Masters of Disaster). The results guide our Extension staff training efforts.
NY EDEN has played a leading role in the development of the state animal response team and county teams by representing CCE on SART and being part of a team that presents orientation workshops at the county levels to emergency management personnel, health departments and the general public. By participating at the state level in SART and other emergency committees, we increase the recognition of EDEN which continues to be a goal.
Finally, the NY EDEN website has been revised to allow for more ease in updating information which has increased its use by Extension staff and the general public.
Center for Community Vitality Director Kathleen Tweeten was one of the state specialists from across the country that developed the Ready Business program for EDEN. In January, she will teach a three-hour train-the-trainer for Extension agents and emergency managers to learn about the program so they can use it with businesses in their communities.
North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension Service resource information was included in the weekly news releases of the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services during National Preparedness Month.
Two NDSU Extension specialists are providing leadership on EDEN’s eXtension Communities of Practice: agricultural engineer Ken Hellevang on flooding and veterinarian Charlie Stoltenow on agrosecurity.
NDSU wrapped up work on the EDEN USDA’s Roles in the National Response Plan course. See Online Learning Opportunities on the EDEN Web page.
NDSU promoted its online training programs at www.ag.ndsu.edu/prepare/ focusing on:
• What's Your Plan? Developing Disaster Preparedness Family Plans
• Are You Ready? Preparing a Disaster Kit for Your Home
• Mold in Your Home
• Keep Your Home Healthy
• Farmstead Security: A Security Tour of Your Farm or Ranch
• Plant Biosecurity: Diagnostic Skills for First Detectors of Plant Problems
• Livestock Biosecurity
North Dakota and other Great Plains states suffered severe drought conditions this summer, so information to help farmers and ranchers make decisions was shared at meetings, distributed through the media and posted on the Web at www.ag.ndsu.edu/drought/.
Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Leader Roger Haugen led development of an animal biosecurity logic model that will be used throughout the North Central Region for the 12 states to collect and report on similar impact data.
NDSU Agriculture and University Extension drafted a crisis communications plan at the July “Ready, Set, Plan” workshop. Administrators are reviewing it before implementation.
An NDSU Emergency Management graduate student is again working part time with Extension. He will help develop a template for office disaster plans and revamp the NDSU disaster education Web pages. Now materials are at www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/disaster.htm, www.ag.ndsu.edu/prepare and www.ag.ndsu.edu/drought.
EDEN was identified as one of the strengths of Penn State Cooperative Extension during a Senate Subcommittee Field Hearing on biosecurity. Senator Santorum chaired the hearing. Also in attendance was Deputy Secretary of Ag, Charles Connors. The Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, Dr. Robert Steele, highlighted the EDEN system and the resources that were made available to Pennsylvania residents through our Extension network of University and county educators.
“The Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN). As mentioned above, Penn State through its Cooperative Extension activities has a physical and programmatic presence in each of PA’s 67 counties that is also linked throughout the more than 3,000 counties nationwide via the Land Grant University Cooperative Extension Service. For decades, emergency preparedness has been a priority area for extension programming. These programs have spanned areas as diverse as natural disasters, animal health, food safety, and emergency readiness to name a few. Within PA, EDEN coordinates with the PA Department of Agriculture, The PA Department of Health, and FEMA and PEMA (federal and state emergency management). Programs developed at Penn State for Ag Emergency Training for first responders have been designated as national programs that are used nationwide. Penn State’s Cooperative Extension experts participate on and interact with other federal agencies such as the FBI Agricultural Terrorism Advisory Committee. Finally, Penn State has been designated by the CDC as a Center for Public Health Preparedness with emphasis on using zoonotic diseases of significance with wildlife as sentinels.”
A new University-wide coordinating council on Homeland Security was created to bring the total efforts of all Penn State programs and research under one umbrella. A council promotional piece for Penn State University Homeland Security programs will include our involvement with EDEN.
Severe flooding resulted in 21 Pennsylvania counties being declared federal disaster areas. FEMA established Disaster Recovery Centers in each of the affected counties. County Cooperative Extension Emergency Response contacts provided flood recovery fact sheets to individuals that were affected by flooding. Counties that had flood damage but not declared federal disaster counties provided EDEN flood materials to local residents, and utilized the fact sheets for news releases and newspaper column topics.
A series of Pennsylvania regional trainings will be held in 2007 to train county educators on continuity of operations for county Extension facilities, Storm Ready partner preparedness, and roles and responsibilities for county extension educators before, during, and after emergencies and disasters.
An in-service professional development training is scheduled in March 2007 for Pennsylvania Extension educators on accessing and using EDEN resources, and participating in Penn State Cooperative Extension Plan of Work 7 - Homeland Security.
Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service has been busy with Emergency Preparedness activities in 2005-2006. As the 1862 Land Grant Institution of South Carolina, Clemson University has legal jurisdiction for Livestock and Poultry Health, and has Pesticide Regulatory authority in the state. In most states both of these responsibilities are housed with the Department of Agriculture. Because of our unique relationship, Clemson University has applied for and received Department of Homeland Security funds to train extension agents and other state agencies in various aspects related to agroterrorism preparedness. Since the nation has accepted an “all hazard” approach to disaster preparedness, this agroterrorism prevention, mitigation, preparedness, and response training received through DHS funding applies to other disasters as well.
Extension agents assist the Emergency Management Division, EMD, by staffing ESF-17 during activation of the EMD for hurricanes and other emergencies and exercises. Extension agents participated in training and exercises in preparation for responding to avian influenza, pandemic flu preparedness, food defense exercises, ICS and NIMS training, large animal rescue LART training, helped with a factory fire community evacuation, and other activities. Agents organize the local County Agriculture Response Team’s known as CART and serve on the local planning committees.
The State Agroterrorism Subcommittee meets regularly, consisting of representatives of state health, DHEC, Department of Agriculture, State Veterinarian, Plant & Pesticide Regulatory Division, and Extension Agents, to develop plans and strategies for the state. A Bioterrorism Resource Needs and Assessment, and a Bioterrorism TASC Committee are working to develop training opportunities for first responders in the state. A Food Safety Consortium, a broad based group in the food production arena is working on biosecurity and food safety issues and extension agents serve on these committees.
The SART/CART concept is continuing with the organization of the county, regional and state CART’s. Six regional CART and two state specialized CART teams have been equipped with trucks, trailers and response equipment. SART is the statewide committee made up of representatives of numerous agencies and animal related groups that function in emergency preparedness and response. A strong emphasis is being placed with livestock producers to participate in the National Animal Identification System – NAIS, and most producers have participated in premise identification. Educational days have been conducted for livestock producers on biosecurity and the risks that foreign animal diseases, FAD’s, have to the farming community.
Clemson Extension Agents, both crop agents and livestock agents are becoming more knowledgeable in emergency preparedness and response. South Carolina authorities recognize the importance of agriculture and recognize just how vulnerable our daily food is to either a natural or intentional disaster.
In addition to providing resources to the EDEN website, Clemson University has an emergency preparedness and response website http://www.clemson.edu/ep/ under our PSA link.
The South Dakota State University Extension Service has been involved in a number of preparedness activities in 2006:
West Nile Virus
SDSU in conjunction with the South Dakota Department Health and South Dakota Department of Agriculture hosted a statewide West Nile/Mosquito Control Conference. Educational materials were distributed; a statewide newspaper insert was developed and distributed July 4 weekend. Extension and research faculty collaborated on mosquito collections in an effort to determine the risk factors for the West Nile Virus. Culex Tarsalis continues to be the main vector for transmission of the disease in South Dakota -- http://sdces.sdstate.edu/westnile/.
Mosquito numbers were down this year, but the percentage of West Nile Virus positive pools increased. Surveillance and educational efforts will be reviewed in January 2007 and programs planned for 2007. SDSU authored the EDEN West Nile Virus Issue page.
Weather Related Disasters
The SDSU Cooperative Extension Service responded to two weather related disasters in 2005/2006, ice storms and drought. CES responded with timely information on the web -- http://sdces.sdstate.edu/drought/ and http://sdces.sdstate.edu/winter_weather/ , via publications, public television and radio. The 2006 drought has been the worst since the 1930s – programming is on going this fall and winter to assist producers and communities in dealing with the ongoing impacts of the drought. Livestock, crop, financial and family issues are being addresses in partnership with mental health and financial counseling agencies
Avian/Pandemic Flu Committee
Establishment of a College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences Avian/Pandemic Flu committee comprised of SDSU extension and research faculty, poultry industry representatives, the South Dakota Animal Industry Board and South Dakota Game Fish and Parks. Specific activities:
a. A public website was developed -- http://sdces.sdstate.edu/avianflu/
b. Nine publications (on the website) were written to address avian influenza and pandemic flu preparation. The Pandemic Flu publications were done in conjunction with the South Dakota Department of Health. The publications were written for poultry producers, people with backyard flocks, 4-Her’s and the general public.
c. Held one teleconference and two web conferences for county Extension educators and campus faculty on status of avian flu, hunter/food safety and pandemic preparedness.
Pandemic Flu Preparation Committee
There has also been participation in the SDSU campus Pandemic Flu preparation committee helping to develop the plan for the Extension Service and University. CES has provided the educational materials for distribution to all SDSU employees as well as educational table tents to be used in residence and dining halls. The SDSU plan was submitted to the South Dakota Board of Regents October 2006.
Brookings County Pandemic Preparedness Planning Committee
SDSU and SDSU CES participated in the Brookings County Pandemic Preparedness Planning Committee. Five partners, Brookings Health System, Brookings Emergency Management, City of Brookings, Brookings Red Cross and SDSU submitted a grant proposal to the South Dakota Department of Health for a Pandemic Planning grant. Monies were received and the plan for Brookings County is near completion. SDSU faculty spoke at several summits and the community educational materials were developed by SDSU CES.
We will be presenting Avian/Pandemic Flu planning and preparation information to other South Dakota communities in the coming months as well as addressing specific groups such as child care providers, ministerial associations, schools, commodity groups, etc.
Some of the SDSU Pandemic Planning Committee and members of the community committee received ICS-100, ICS-200, and ICS-700 training the last week of September and the rest will receive training in October 2006.
Using the EDEN website as a model a SDSU CES National Preparedness website was launched September 1, 2006 -- http://sdces.sdstate.edu/prepare/
SDSU under the leadership of Dr. Marty Draper and Mr. Brad Ruden set out sentinel plots for soybean rust. County Extension educators were involved in scouting and sample collection and the results were reported to the national database.
The University of Tennessee Extension and Tennessee State University Cooperative Extension Program agents and specialists conduct a number of agricultural and family and consumer sciences programs related to disaster education and homeland security to prepare families and communities. Program leadership for these efforts includes the Family and Consumer Sciences Homeland Security Initiative begun in 2004, and the Agrosecurity Priority Program Team begun in 2002. Programs during the past year include:
• Crisis Communication for Extension: Two Tennessee Extension specialists participated in the Crisis Response Project’s workshop titled Communications in Crisis that was conducted in Kansas City. Efforts are underway to review existing hazard and crisis communication plans, as well as Tennessee Extension’s experiences in recent disasters. The anticipated outcome is to consolidate and streamline the various plans in order to make the plans more user-friendly and effective.
• DART capabilities improving: Hamilton County and four counties in the Memphis metropolitan area have purchased trailers and necessary equipment for their local Disaster Animal Response Team (DART). Cooperators in the efforts included the UT County Extension Office, Tennessee Department of Agriculture, County EMA, and County Health Departments. Equipment available to users of the vehicle includes a generator and lighting equipment, personal protective equipment, portable headgates and panels, slings and other equipment necessary for anticipated animal emergency and rescue responses.
• Pandemic Influenza: One example of multi-agency community education efforts is the series of meetings in Hamilton County (Chattanooga) with representatives from the county Health Department, Department of Agriculture and Extension delivering information on potential impacts and planning for a pandemic avian influenza outbreak.
• Plant and Pest Diagnostics: UT Extension and the UT Agricultural Experiment Station have monitored several sentinel plots for Asian Soybean Rust as an early detection network, and conducted numerous meetings on prevention and control of the disease. A toll free hotline has been established for producers and others to call for up-to-date information about the possible spread of Asian soybean rust to Tennessee. Soybean rust has been microscopically confirmed as of 10/24/06 in two counties, and visually confirmed in nine counties in Tennessee.
• Tabletop Exercises: Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, and USDA APHIS have conducted several multi-agency agricultural disaster tabletop exercises in the past year. These have included scenarios such as Foreign Animal Disease incidents and bioterrorism incidents involving the food supply system. These exercises have increased agencies' awareness of the impacts of agricultural disasters, and agencies' personnel communicated a lack of understanding of agricultural response protocols. Extension has a table at these exercises and will play a major role in communication and public education during an agricultural emergency due to our normal mission and our role as spelled out in Tennessee ESF 16.
• Training and Credentialing: Tennessee Department of Agriculture and Tennessee Emergency Management Agency have been conducting a series of credentialing workshops to form a cadre of agricultural producers and agricultural professionals that can function in various roles during an agricultural disaster. Credentialing includes education on NIMS and ICS. More than 986 individuals have been credentialed to date, including 135 Extension. Major groups include Extension agents, veterinarians, animal health technicians and livestock producers. As part of this effort, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine offers the USDA NIMS/ICS/NRP Training Suite online for these targeted audiences (http://www.agriculture.utk.edu/vetmed/transition/).
• Ag Terror Workshop: Tennessee Department of Agriculture hosted the Ag Terror course in Memphis to train emergency management personnel and agricultural professionals on NIMS and agricultural emergency response protocol. The workshop was presented by Kirkwood (Iowa) Community College and is the only US Dept of Homeland Security course on the topic. More than 100 people attended, including more than 20 UT Extension agents.
• Tennessee State University Helps Kids Affected by Katrina: During the summer of 2006, twenty-nine students from Tennessee State University operated Camp Supercharge, a month long camp for 220 New Orleans children whose schooling was interrupted by Hurricane Katrina. The program offered academic, cultural and sport activities as well as arts and crafts. The elementary school age children lived in communities hit by the hurricane. The project was funded by a $350,000 grant awarded to TSU as part of the Universities Rebuilding America Partnership launched in November by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Corporation for National and Community Service. Dr. Javiette Samuel, assistant professor of 4-H youth development in TSU's Cooperative Extension Program and Dr. Margaret Machara, assistant professor of family and consumer sciences accompanied the students. TSU partnered with Nashville's A to Z In-home Tutoring, to organize the program that was held at Loyola University.
• Center for Agriculture and Food Security and Preparedness (CAFSP): The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine has created The Center for Agriculture and Food Security and Preparedness (CAFSP). The Center will serve as a focal point for several key initiatives that will assist the nation in its efforts to protect agriculture and the food supply from terrorist threats. The Center will house the college’s national training program that is being developed for the US Department of Homeland Security on agriculture and food vulnerability assessment. Development of this outreach training program is being funded by a $2 million grant the College of Veterinary Medicine received last fall from DHS. The training program will provide industry and government officials at the state, county, and local levels across the country with tools to prevent and deter terrorist acts that target the agricultural and food sector. The training program will be available at no cost to local communities later this fall. The Center will provide a focal point for its efforts to work directly with industry, especially in the vulnerability assessment and infrastructure protection arena. Development of online and additional in person training programs is envisioned. The Center will also organize and host the second Foreign Animal and Emerging Diseases Training Course which will be held in Knoxville in the summer of 2007.
Submitted by Martha Keel, Tim Prather, Finis Stribling
Dr. Ed Smith, Director TCE - “Our first and foremost responsibility is to provide public information and education (PIE) at all four stages of emergency management.”
1. Mitigation - to eliminate or make less severe
2. Preparedness - to make ready beforehand
3. Response - to react appropriately
4. Recovery - to regain normalcy
2005 – Partnered with Texas Department of State Health Services to develop Community Preparedness educational and resource materials (family booklet, youth curriculum, exhibit, web site, demonstration disaster supply kits, “Talking About Disaster”, “Are You Ready?”) In August Texas EDEN web site was launched - http://texashelp.tamu.edu
September 2005 - Hurricane Katrina
• TCE information technology headed to Louisiana to loan and set-up satellite communication equipment, computers, and a generator-operated mobile-office trailer.
• County agents, 4-H youth and Extension volunteers across Texas responded to the needs of evacuees from Katrina by donating health kits, food, veterinary medicine, household pet needs, equine supplies, baby food, diapers, clothing, gasoline cards, bottled water, school supplies, hay, livestock feed, bedding kits, toys, etc.
• County agents in many counties coordinated volunteers to provide assistance with data entry and missing person location, man phones, assisted evacuees with career placement and resume development.
September 2005 - Hurricane Rita
• Internal agency preparations included protective measures at Extension offices through the projected hurricane path, from the Valley to Orange/Beaumont/Port Arthur. A web site for employees in projected path was set up to help locate evacuation lodging. 90 Employees offered evacuation space for 161 bedrooms. Preparedness news releases and other informational resources were posted for agents use with clientele. Texas 4-H center was made available for employees. Arrangements for alternate agency headquarters and 24 hour phone coverage at a distant district center.
• 17 Texas counties were severely affected by Rita. TCE offices in 7 counties were closed by loss of utilities for a prolonged period. The technology team rounded up and deployed computers with Internet access via wide-area-network wireless receivers to the affected area. Four satellite systems were installed in 3 counties.
• TCE news staff contacted all 70 media outlets serving the 17 affected counties and developed a spread sheet to show when and how to best distribute news and other information materials to these outlets; Numerous stories were issued and posted to the Agnews Web site (http://agnews.tamu.edu/dailynews/stories/HURC/) which pertain to hurricane preparedness and aftermath (four of these concern Katrina, the rest Rita).
• 27 radio PSAs were compiled for ongoing distribution to radio stations. Another seven radio PSAs were voiced in Spanish and distributed.
• 26 publications on hurricane recovery were adapted and posted on an Extension Web site. This made it possible for those Extension agents and citizens who still had power to obtain this information immediately. Topics range from dealing with mold and using portable generators safely to disinfecting water and removing refrigerator odors. Of these, 22 publications were bundled into three large booklets: Water – 5 publications, totaling 16 pages; Home – 11 publications, totaling 23 pages; and Safety – 6 publications, totaling 11 pages
67,000 sets of these three booklets were printed locally for distribution to the affected counties. Distribution: 17,000 sets to affected Extension county offices and the other 50,000 sets to Lufkin for coordinated distribution through the state’s Incident Command Center and the Texas Forest Service to shelters and other locations in each county.
• Texas 4-H took excerpts from the Yea 4-H After School curriculum and prepared “ready to go” activity lesson kits for volunteers to use with youth at shelters. A 4-H drive called “Kits for Kids” collected various school supplies and comfort items to present in packages to children in the affected areas.
• To ensure effective management of the Extension response, critical administrators and faculty initiated and continue consultation with Cooperative Extension counterparts experienced with disaster recovery in Florida, North Carolina, and along the Gulf Coast.
2006 - Texas Extension’s Veterinarian has been involved with Houston area FBI bio-terrorism training, as well as numerous other trainings across the country. 5 TCE Specialists serve on State Animal Resource Team.
2006 - TCE Emergency Management Steering Committee organized to help identify role of TCE in Emergency Management locally, regionally, and statewide. Andy Vestal and Janie Harris are co-chairs with Margaret Hale as administrative advisor. The 16 member committee is comprised of employees from all parts of Extension, including Prairie View and the V.G. Young Institute (county judges training).
December 2005 - September 2006 - Wildfires in many parts of Texas
• County Extension Network Deployed for Urgent Survey, Jan. 5-6. In less than 48 hours, county Extension faculty and staff personally conducted a statewide survey of Texas fire and emergency service departments. Acting on behalf of the Governor's Division of Emergency Management and the Texas Forest Service, TCE personnel reached 95 percent of the target--completing some 1,740 surveys and entering them in an online database developed by Extension Information Technology. The survey was needed to assist an urgent state effort to seek emergency federal funds that support departments that are manned by volunteer firefighters. "This is truly an absolutely phenomenal effort by Texas Cooperative Extension and demonstrates the tremendous value of Extension's statewide network," said Jim Hull, state forester and director of Texas Forest Service.
• Numerous county agents across the state worked to promote “best practices” to reduce risk associated with wildfires. Agents in affected counties worked with the farm bureau to locate hay for those farmers and ranchers affected.
• Extension’s role in the wildfire response was noted at a TAMUS Board of Regents meeting by Chancellor McTeer.
2006 - Governor’s Division of Emergency Management activated state Drought Preparedness Council. Dr. Travis Miller represents TCE at State Operations Center. 17 Specialists have supplied educational resources to build our capacity on web site.
2006 - Texas Cooperative Extension partnered with Texas Department of State Health Services and National Center for Foreign Animal & Zoonotic Disease Defense (FAZD) Center to sponsor agent training in Emergency Management.
• May 2006 - Statewide Emergency Management Training for County Extension Agents.
• 4 regional trainings involving 30 + Specialists reached 646 county faculty
• 2 day training focused on the role Extension has in helping families, businesses, and producers get better prepared for unexpected events/disasters (farmstead and crop bio-security, family & youth issues, foreign and emerging animal diseases)
• Overview of National Incident Management System (Incident Command System)
• Media Relations and Crisis Communications
• Resources distributed
• Plan of Work developed for agents on TexAS (Texas Extension Accountability System)
• Faculty in each county to coordinate with their county/city Emergency Management Coordinators, County Judges, etc. to develop an awareness/educational campaign for National Preparedness Week, Sept 10 - 16, 2006.
• County Office Disaster Preparedness Plan
• Animal Issues Committee in county
2006 - Treye Rice, Texas EDEN web master and Janie Harris, EDEN delegate served on ICH committee.
2006 - Incident Resource Teams are being formed that will serve as a task force of Extension Specialists who have expertise in the areas affected by a specific incident (flood, drought, chemical spill, etc.). The IRTs will be charged with developing resource materials, professional development for CEAs, public presentations, media releases, etc.
2006 - TCE employees encouraged to participate in professional development opportunities to support EM. Andy Vestal, Lori Jones and Luis Saldana attended Crisis Communications workshop in Kansas City. Lisa Norman completed Citizens Emergency Response Training. Janie Harris completed Red Cross Mass Shelter training. Andy Crocker participated in Disability Policy Consortium summit in Austin.
2006 - Presentation at Southern Region Program Leaders Meeting on “Structural Overview of Texas Extension Emergency Management
2006 - Andy Vestal - Serving on the Emergency Management Council at the Governor’s Division of Emergency Management
2006 - Steering Committee and Administration positioning TCE in five support functions at the state level.
2006 - Photo/Identification credentialing badges being made for all TCE employees
2006 - 2007 - An Emergency Management online course being developed for new hires. This Emergency Management training will be a part of the Individual Development Plan for all new employees.
For the first time in more than two decades West Virginia did not have a Major Disaster Declaration during the 2005-2006 time period.
Faculty from the West Virginia University Extension Service participated in a series of eight regional summits for local leaders on preparing for a pandemic influenza outbreak. Sponsored by state homeland security and health department agencies, these regional summits included a consideration of how Extension and other local agencies can contribute to local contingency planning necessary to insure a continuity of all vital services during a pandemic event. Peter Marshall is involved in pandemic preparedness planning on the WVU campus and the local community.
A study conducted by WVU faculty and students concluded that a terrorist attack in Washington, D.C., such as a dirty bomb, is likely to trigger a mass exodus of city and suburban residents heading westward into and through West Virginia . This was the scenario of a regional conference held in Davis, West Virginia lead by West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin. The conference had more than 100 public safety officials attending from the District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Kentucky. The event was considered to be a first step toward creating a regional evacuation plan.
In support of a collaborative venture of EDEN and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop a pandemic-ready course for faith-based organizations, Peter Marshall assumed a lead role in the development of a Disaster Plan Template.
Greg Donewar and the West Virginia University Fire Extension Service completed a CD training resource aimed at improving all-hazards preparedness for the agricultural community. This new training resource was the focus of an in-service training workshop attended by Extension agents.
West Virginia State University Extension Service, in collaboration with Kentucky State, was awarded $7500 for the delivery of a small farms biosecurity training program scheduled for later this fall. Additionally, WVSU Extension will be hosting several sections of the EDEN Business Ready program throughout twelve counties in southern West Virginia. Jenny Fertig is the State Program Leader for Community and Economic Development.
The University of Wisconsin-Extension is joining with the University of Nebraska Food Processing Institute, federal agencies, state manufacturing extension partnerships and the food industry to increase understanding of and compliance with US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) facility registration rules. Set forth below is a summary of the intended program, which will begin soon and will be conducted over the next year.
Development, Coordination and Delivery of Information on Food Defense to Small and Medium Food Manufacturers
FDA Regulation: FDA has contracted with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to provide training and support to small and mid-size food manufacturers to increase their awareness of food defense. The overall goal is to help reduce the risk of tampering or other malicious, criminal, or terrorist actions on the food supply.
Project Plan Overview: NIST has agreed to pilot a project for small and mid-size food manufacturers within 8 states (MO, TX, TN, NC, OK, NE, WI, and NY) to help increase the awareness of food defense. The project will include (1) surveying the small and mid-size food manufacturers to better understand their level of awareness and (2) developing different methods of dissemination of information on food defense which targets small and mid-size food manufacturers to educate and to create awareness about defending the nation's food supply.
The project will be delivered in 2 different phases. Phase I will include the surveying small and mid-size food manufacturers in the 8 identified states to gain a better understanding of their level of awareness of food defense. Also, 2000 small and mid-size food manufacturers will be contacted by different methods to help increase their level of awareness of food defense. An evaluation of Phase I will be completed before beginning Phase II.
Phase II will include contacting an additional 10,000 small and mid-size food manufacturers. At the end of Phase II a report will be prepared for FDA and NIST detailing the project.