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CHAPTER 3 Components of Agricultural Emergency Response This chapter discusses the various components of response to an agricultural emergency, including the incident command structure, resource management, communications, mutual-aid, volunteers, and standard operating guidelines. 3.1 Incident Command System To be NIMS compliant and eligible for federal programs and grants, cities, counties, and other local jurisdictions must have adopted and be trained in the Incident Command System (ICS) outlined in the National Response Framework (NRF). The ICS, outlined in Figure 3-1, includes a command staff with a public information officer, safety officer, and liaison officer, as well as a general staff that includes a planning chief, operations chief, finance and administration chief, and logistics chief. The four sections of the ICS may be subdivided differently depending on the type of emergency, agency resources, or the geographical area encompassed in the response. Using the principle of unified command, each level of response (local, state, and federal) may have its own incident commander and command structure. However, the individuals occupy- ing positions that correspond to others in respective structures should consult with one another to identify and work toward common objectives. In the case of an agroterrorism attack or the outbreak of a highly contagious animal or plant disease, state and federal officials will be made aware of the situation and become involved in the response as soon as the outbreak or attack is confirmed. Although state and federal officials have detailed agricultural response plans and incident command structures, the initial response to an agricultural incident is handled at the local level. Thus, the ability of state and federal governments to successfully contain and eradicate a disease outbreak depends heavily upon the success of local responders in containing the outbreak at its earliest stages. The local incident command staff will handle the incident until state and federal agencies are available for support, at which point, local, state, and federal personnel work in unified command. Unified command can also be used to coordinate the actions of agencies in neigh- boring jurisdictions when the area of infection crosses county lines and independent county emergency response teams have to work together to handle the incident. Local and state emergency response plans may contain chapters or annexes that pertain specifically to agricultural or FAD emergencies. Although some plans may contain detailed, response-specific incident command structures, local agencies should review these plans to verify that responsibility is assigned for all objectives, including traffic control. Many response struc- tures include a transportation group, categorized as part of logistics or planning, responsible for: transporting responders to and from their work sites during their shifts, assisting in evac- uations, or redirecting traffic around a single location. However, in the event of a quarantine, 9

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10 A Guide to Traffic Control of Rural Roads in an Agricultural Emergency Figure 3-1. Basic incident command system. the transportation-related responsibilities may expand considerably, and will most likely exceed the capabilities of one group. In a typical ICS, the Operations Section is assigned responsibility for all activities focused on reducing the immediate hazard, saving human life and property, establishing situational con- trol, and restoring normal operations. Traffic control around a quarantine boundary fits directly into the responsibilities of the Operations Section. The structure of the Operations Section can be based on jurisdictional boundaries, operational considerations, or a combination of both. Further division of the Operations Section may vary, depending on the type of emergency. Figure 3-2 shows an example of how the Operations Section might be organized in the event of an FAD outbreak. In this example, transportation responsi- bilities are divided between groups in all three branches. Each branch within the Operations Section would be managed by one person, who would report to the Operations Section Chief, and each group within a branch would be led by one person, who would report to the Branch Manager. In following the principles of the ICS as described in the NIMS, each person reports to only one person, with no more than three to seven people reporting to any one person. The division of responsibilities illustrated in Figure 3-2 is intended to meet the specific objec- tives of FAD containment and includes disease control, traffic control, and quarantine enforce- ment. Each group has several sub-objectives, each of which is managed by a group dedicated to that task. The tasks managed by the Disease Control Branch might include the following: Receiving and holding livestock that cannot enter the quarantine area and cannot be sent elsewhere; Cleaning and disinfecting vehicles, equipment, animals, and people leaving the quarantine area; and Euthanizing and disposing of diseased or exposed animals and agricultural products (such as milk). The Traffic Control Branch might be tasked with the following: Planning detours; Monitoring traffic queues;

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Components of Agricultural Emergency Response 11 Figure 3-2. Organization of Operation Section for foreign animal disease response. Supplying, installing, and maintaining signs, barricades, flashing lights, and other traffic control devices; and Maintaining the road surface of detour routes to ensure that critical paths remain open and usable. The Quarantine Enforcement Branch would be responsible for enforcing movement restrictions, which might include the following: Staffing traffic check-points, Inspecting vehicles, and Providing surveillance of the quarantine boundary. The Disease Control Branch will most likely be staffed with state-level responders, such as vet- erinarians and Department of Agriculture personnel, who are familiar with specific diseases and with their control and management. However, in many cases, local staff will be needed to iden- tify locations to house diverted animals and assist in cleaning and disinfection tasks. The county engineer, county public works director, or a state DOT area engineer who is familiar with the roads in the area could lead the Traffic Control Branch, which is usually staffed with a combina- tion of local public works and state DOT maintenance crews. The Enforcement Branch may be led by the local sheriff and supported by state police and the National Guard. All three branches will most likely be supported by volunteers, so training before and during the emergency will be necessary.