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CHAPTER 5 Conclusion This guide is intended to help local law enforcement officials, emergency responders, and public works officials safely and effectively manage traffic control in the earliest stages of a sus- pected agricultural emergency with the resources immediately available in the community. The preceding chapters have provided information on the roles and responsibilities of respon- ders, traffic control plans, resource management, and mutual-aid agreements--the funda- mental elements of a successful emergency traffic control plan. Planning and coordination before an incident is suspected or reported minimizes the consequences of an agricultural incident if and when one takes place. Facilitating communication between all involved agencies and developing plans for resource sharing during the planning phase are especially important in rural areas where resources are limited. A response can only be as effective as its implementation plan. Although preparing an effective response to a foreign plant or animal disease outbreak should be a top priority in all rural agricultural areas, establishing preventive measures is just as important. Refer to Sections 5.1 and 5.2 for information on biosecurity practices in agri- cultural areas and additional resources for developing or improving your agricultural response plan. 5.1 Recommended Biosecurity Procedures The expression "the best offense is a good defense" not only holds true in the world of sports but also in emergency planning. Defending your county's agricultural assets against the possibility of accidental or intentional disease is just as important as preparing a response once an outbreak has occurred. A good defense includes carefully adhering to biosecurity procedures that minimize the risk of unauthorized access to plants and animals and the spread of contamination between farms, ranches, sale barns, slaughterhouses, and other producer locations. When a foreign animal or plant disease is suspected, biosecurity becomes even more critical. The Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Compliance published a memorandum (9) in late 2001 regarding routine biosecurity procedures for EPA personnel visiting farms, ranches, slaughterhouses, and other facilities with livestock and poultry. While this guide focuses on the response taking place around the perimeter of the quarantine area and not on the response ele- ments at the point of infection, many of the same biosecurity principles listed in the EPA memo apply. While those handling traffic controls will not be visiting the farm or slaughterhouse, they will be in contact with agricultural vehicles and their cargo, and similar precautions should be employed. Several of the biosecurity principles from the memo have been modified to apply to responders working at traffic checkpoints and are shown below in Table 5-1. The complete 30