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Emergency Management and Agricultural Disease Outbreaks

Agricultural Disease Outbreaks are an area that is often overlooked by local emergency management, but it should not be. Biological events affecting our communities is inevitable, but the level of their effect on us is not.

When was the last time as an emergency manager you toured a farm in your area? When was the last time that you sat down and talked to the manager of a large “Mega-farm” facility? Given the perceived lack of impact on our daily EM operations that results from animal health issues, the answer is probably never.

Should emergency managers even care about these diseases? The answer to that question is, yes, they totally should. According to research conducted by a 2015 report from the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense “The United States is underprepared for biological threats, and that Nation states and unaffiliated terrorists) threaten us.”[1]

These challenges are not easy to manage and require a tremendous investment of time to accomplish successfully. I would encourage you to set up a time to tour some farms in your area. There is a need for emergency managers to be ready for everything, including Agricultural Disease emergencies.


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