More information relating to personal preparedness can be found at the national Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) website. Another great web link that can assist in family emergency planning is the Do1Thing website. At this website, professional emergency planners provide personal monthly goals and ideas aimed at building a family or personal emergency plan.
The second step is having a plan. How long will it take to pull together your most important documents or basic clothing if you are asked to evacuate? How long will it take to move pets or low mobility family members? Have you assembled a list of emergency contacts of people or organizations you might need to reach out to during an emergency? What family records (such as financial records, birth certificates and passports) should be duplicated or stored together in case the need to evacuate comes quickly? By pulling important documents together beforehand, time can be saved when time is critical.
Business preparedness is similar in many ways to other preparedness planning. Business emergency plans are based on two concepts: being ready to respond to emergency situations and facilitating businessrecovery following the disaster.
Facilitating the business recovery is usually contained in the business continuity plan. The continuity plan is intended to bring the business back up to operating speed as quickly as possible after a disaster. The plan requires that the business look at how it functions and determine which crucial functions require immediate protection or replacement to ensure that the business gets back on track. Next the business owners must engage the employees to practice and improve the plan so it can be deployed when needed.
The other part of farm business preparedness is the farm emergency plan. In most states, farm emergency planning has been connected to SARA Title III activities, Farm-A-Syst programs, pesticide use, fuel and fertilizer storage, or manure management planning. Specifics may vary by state, but the general underlying planning concepts remain the same.
Information relating to this farm emergency planning can be accessed though state university extension services, state departments of agriculture, environment or natural resources. The emergency plan itself, should state what the business is planning to do to control, contain, cleanup the most likely types of emergency situations on the farm (livestock farms will probably have plans for manure spills, crop farms will be more likely to plan for chemical/pesticide spills.) Above all, the plan should be clear and make specific plans for how each type of emergency will be handled.
Because our food supply and the rural communities that produce it are strategic assets for our nation and vulnerable to disruption through disaster on the local and national scale, it is important that rural and agricultural businesses build resiliency mechanism for benefit of the public and private sector in our country.
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