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Agriculture & Severe Weather Awareness

2012 April 16
by braddeacon

April is Severe Weather Awareness Month – which is a good time to review plans and get prepared for every sector, and particularly for the food and agriculture sector and rural communities.  While billions have been spent on homeland security enhancements in a number of critical sectors, spending and attention in the food and agriculture sector has lagged.  Fortunately, a few homeland security professionals in several states are focused on food and agriculture security and are producing some helpful resources for states and local governments.

The Multi-State Partnership for Security in Agriculture has published the All-Hazards Preparedness for Rural Communities Guide – a guide to help rural agriculture communities prepare for threats to their families, farms, animals and businesses.  This all-hazards booklet was developed as a resource for citizens of rural agricultural communities –individuals, farmers and producers, businesses –with the hope of raising awareness of the natural and man-made threats to these communities and their commodities. These threats can include natural disaster situations (e.g., floods, tornadoes); biological emergencies (e.g., pandemic flu, food safety recalls) and man-made or technological threats (e.g., bio-or agro-terrorism, agrochemical situations).

The booklet contains overviews of specific hazards and informational handouts. The handouts are presented in a check list format to help guide individuals in rural communities in preparing for a particular hazard before it occurs, during the event, and recovering from the situation.  The booklet and plenty of additional awareness level material, background and checklists relating to food and agricultural security are available at the partnership’s website at:

The Multi-State Partnership for Security in Agriculture is an alliance of 14 states (IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, MI, MN, MO, NE, ND, OH, OK, SD & WI) started in 2004 that recognizes that a disaster in agriculture (both natural and man-made) could have regional, national & global effects.  Funded through State Homeland Security Grants and in-kind contributions from the member states, the Partnership has addressed a wide range of projects to benefit the region as a whole, including developing plans for continuity of business for the livestock industry during disease outbreaks and receipt of the National Veterinary Stockpile as well as training in risk communication and the Incident Command System.

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