About the Program
In areas where agriculture is an important industry, a variety of emergencies and disasters can occur. These range from trauma events or fires where emergency services disciplines are summoned; to zoonotic diseases where public and private health professionals come together; to disasters where farm animals are affected and multiple agencies and trained volunteers may respond side by side. Agricultural emergencies require responders to have specialized knowledge and skills to help their community prevent and protect against various emergencies and disasters and to effectively and safely respond to, manage and help in the recovery of, these varied emergencies. The more exposure responders have to agricultural situations, the more comfortable they will become in their role as an agricultural responder.
Many of the disasters or emergencies may occur naturally such as floods, fires, explosions, or storm damage, and some may occur as intentional acts of terrorism, including diseases, chemicals, biological agents, radiologic or nuclear events, or explosions. Locating specialized resources and training for this wide range of topics is difficult. These courses bring this specialized training and lists of resources together in one training event.
Recognizing the critical importance that agriculture and food production plays to the US infrastructure, Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-9 was established and signed into law in January 2004. This directive establishes a national policy to defend the agriculture and food system against terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies. Click here for the entire directive. Our training programs are designed to help prepare local responders to be more knowledgeable of farm emergencies and more effective in their agricultural response activities.
Homeland Security Approved Training
Penn State has been approved by Homeland Security to conduct three classes related to Agricultural Emergencies, enabling jurisdictions to utilize Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) funding sources to cover the cost of delivering these trainings in their regions. This funding which is distributed to states from DHS/FEMA is intended to support counter terrorism and emergency preparedness initiatives. Specifically HSGP funding is used to prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks and other disasters. Interested parties should contact their county EMA for information on how this program works in their region. The descriptions of the three courses are as follows: