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A Guide for First Responders

By Jason B. Moats

Publication Year: 2007

“In many cases, the communities most ill-prepared to deal with . . . terrorism incidents,” Jason B. Moats writes in the introduction to this book, “are the rural communities that provide . . . food and crops.” Having conducted training across the country for first responders in cities, small towns, and rural communities, Moats for the first time gathers here the knowledge gleaned from research and nearly twenty years’ experience in emergency services and emergency training. Whether used in the field or in the classroom, this manual is designed to help rural communities prepare for an act of agroterrorism. It explains why the U.S. agriculture industry is a target for terrorists and how farms and farming communities across the country are vulnerable. The author lists known biological and chemical agents and their effects, explains model systems for supporting emergency response efforts, and lays out proven plans for gathering personnel and other resources in an orderly, coordinated way. In Agroterrorism: A Guide for First Responders, Moats spells out who should do what and when, providing a critically needed path through the bureaucratic maze of state, national, and interagency homeland security directives. With this book, Moats empowers those on the front lines in rural America, those charged with the responsibility of handling emergency crises in agricultural communities. Armed with the information they need, emergency response agencies, emergency managers, public health professionals, veterinary and animal health practitioners, as well as farmers and producers, will be able to answer the questions: “Where do we start?” “What do we do?” “Who is going to do it?” and “How do we pay for it?” Closing with a complete training program that includes practical exercises formatted for easy use, Agroterrorism: A Guide for First Responders contains resources vital for America’s rural communities, emergency managers, and the agriculture sector that is so central to our national interest.  

Published by: Texas A&M University Press

Series: Texas A&M University Agriculture Series


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Front Matter

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p. v

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p. vii

This book has been a labor of love. It started as a conversation. Six years and two hundred pages later, it is a book. There are many people to thank for this. First, I need to thank my grandparents and parents for teaching me the importance of helping others. Second, this project would not have been possible without the understanding and love of my wife Michelle and our...

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pp. ix-x

As I teach emergency management courses around the country, I tell first responders and other local government officials—no matter what they have heard before—that if a terrorist strikes their community, the responsibility to respond and manage the incident rests first and foremost on their shoulders.1 The responsibility begins with the appearance of a potential threat and continues...

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1. Terrorism in the Barnyard

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pp. 1-4

It is a warm summer’s day; by all accounts, it is perfect. It is the height of the barbecue season—the Fourth of July is right around the corner. You turn on the network national news and the anchor is explaining that a mysterious outbreak of a disease is affecting cattle, swine, and sheep in several midwestern states. The anchor is saying that Department of Homeland Security...

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2. Overview of the Agriculture Industry

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pp. 5-9

The agriculture industry in the United States has many interconnected and interdependent layers. It includes the production of poultry, swine, cattle (including beef and dairy), horses (including those for work and pleasure), and such animals as alpacas, deer, antelope, emus, ostriches, catfish, tilapia, and oysters. The industry also produces grains, grasses, fruits, and vegetables...

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3. WMD and the Farm

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pp. 10-29

Terrorism has been defined by several departments and agencies within the U.S. government, including the Department of Defense, the Department of State, and the Department of Justice. While the definition used by the Department of Justice is most familiar to first responders, the Homeland Security Act of 2002 provides the first codified definition. This definition...

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4. Incident Management and Unified Command

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pp. 30-68

The sheer magnitude of an incident caused by terrorism may be staggering. The quantities of personnel and resources required to mitigate a terrorism event can be huge. Community officials, including those from emergency response agencies, not only have the responsibility to develop plans and systems to respond to terrorism incidents—they are also expected to account for...

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5. Strategies and Tactics

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pp. 69-93

As communities start planning the response to an agroterrorism incident, there are several issues to address in their plans. To begin this process, each community should review the applicable state animal health emergency response plan so as to better understand the expectations of their state in the case of an animal health emergency. Additionally, local communities should take...

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6. Concepts to Improve the Response

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pp. 94-101

There are many challenges to responding to a WMD incident involving agriculture. However, the capabilities provided by specialized response teams and mechanisms lead to the surveillance of susceptible species, including those in the wild, and can aid communities as they address the challenges of an agroterrorism incident...

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7. State Homeland Security Assessment and Strategy Program for Agriculture

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pp. 102-112

Since the late 1990s, the Office of Grants and Training, formerly known as the Office for Domestic Preparedness, an office originally under the U.S. Department of Justice but now under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has been the agency responsible for the State Homeland Security Assessment and Strategy (SHSAS) process.1 The intent of this program is to assess...

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8. The National Response to an Agricultural Incident

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pp. 113-151

Following the issuance of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5 on February 28, 2003, changes to the emergency management community have been occurring at a rapid pace and continue to do so. Among the developments that resulted from HSPD-5 are the National Incident Management System and the National Response Plan. Interagency plans and many other supporting...

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9. Using This Book for Training Programs

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pp. 152-162

One of the greatest challenges that a community faces in preparation for an agricultural emergency is training its people. This book provides a ready format to train traditional first responders, such as fire, police, and emergency medical services personnel. It is also versatile enough to train veterinarians, veterinary technicians, cooperative extension agents, feedlot personnel...

Appendix A: Vulnerability Assessment Exercise Summary

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p. 163

Appendix B: Individual Site/Event Vulnerability Assessment Sheet

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pp. 164-165


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pp. 167-179

Glossary and Abbreviations

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pp. 181-191


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pp. 193-198

E-ISBN-13: 9781603444460
E-ISBN-10: 1603444467
Print-ISBN-13: 9781585445868
Print-ISBN-10: 158544586X

Page Count: 208
Illustrations: 10 b&w photos, 4 tables, 12 charts.
Publication Year: 2007

Series Title: Texas A&M University Agriculture Series
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OCLC Number: 651796932
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Agroterrorism

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Subject Headings

  • Emergency management -- United States.
  • Agroterrorism -- United States.
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