Ana Araujo – February 16, 2021

WIFSS continues to provide all hazards preparedness training for first responders. First responders from across the state(s) of Illinois, New Mexico, and Texas attended the first offering of AWR 328-V: All Hazards Preparedness for Animals in Disasters. The class consisted of two half-days of online training outlining the potential effects of an emergency involving animals and animal agriculture. Together, the attendees explored the important structure for organizing the response and recovery from an animal-related disaster.

Participants who completed AWR 328-V will go on to complete the next class in the series: MGT 448-V: All Hazards Planning for Animal, Agriculture, and Food Related Disasters.

WIFSS currently offers instruction in these two DHS certified courses, offered through the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortiu m (RDPC). WIFSS is one of six training partners that together make up RDPC. The consortium aims to provide high-quality training tailored for rural and tribal communities in the U.S. and U.S. territories. The two courses taught by WIFSS aim to train first responders in rural areas of the country for disaster situations that involve or directly affect our food supply system. Both courses bring together diverse audiences from rural communities to discuss issues that emergency planners and responders face when a disaster occurs that impacts animals, agriculture, and the food system.

Tracey Stevens, the lead instructor for the RDPC training program at WIFSS, taught the online AWR 328-V course held on June 14 and 15. The course was hosted by the Marion County Health Department in Salem, IL. Heather Johnson, the WIFSS instructional systems designer, hosted the online course and helped facilitate the delivery via Zoom.

AWR 328-V is designed to provide livestock producers, emergency managers, veterinarians, extension agents, veterinary technicians, rural community leaders, public and human health personnel, fire and law enforcement with tools to protect, respond to, and recover from the consequences of disasters (e.g. fire, flood, heat, earthquake, tornadoes, hurricanes, hazardous materials, and catastrophic disease exposure) involving animals in rural communities.

The participants who completed the AWR 328-V training in Salem, IL will be joining the subsequent training MGT 448-V: All Hazards Planning for Animal, Agriculture, and Food Related Disasters that will be hosted by the San Diego Urban Area Security Initiative on July 19th.

For those interested in participating in either of these courses, there are multiple virtual offerings scheduled. AWR 328-V is prerequisite to MGT 448-V. There is still have time to sign up for dynamic zoom sessions of AWR 328-V and MGT 448-V being offered July 12th and 19th!