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UW Extension hosts preparing for animal, plant, food disasters course

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Preparing for and responding to incidents involving animals, plants and food are the focus of a Department of Homeland Security-certified course in Casper May 21.

University of Wyoming Extension is hosting “Preparing Communities for Animal, Plant, and Food Incidents: An Introduction” offered by the National Center for Biomedical Research and Training 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Agricultural Resource and Learning Center, 2011 Fairgrounds Rd.

The focus is to train in-state instructors so the course can be duplicated across the state, said Scott Cotton, UW Extension educator coordinating the class. The UW Extension Disaster Education Team, Wyoming Homeland Security and NCBRT are sponsors.

The extent to which accidental, intentional and naturally occurring incidents can affect daily operations in the food and agricultureindustry is examined, Cotton said. Those attending will learn to recognize food industry threats and vulnerabilities.

The course will show how an incident can alter lives locally and thousands of miles away.

“For the last two decades, a growing awareness and effort has been made to interface agriculture into emergency and disaster planning,” said Cotton. “Since agriculture is often a primary or significant component of community stability, planning to mitigate impacts to agriculture equates tostronger community resilience in the face of all incidents.”

Mother Nature also poses threats.

“Since Wyoming communities often face the risk of wildfire, flood, blizzard and drought in addition to lesser risks of pestilence and disease outbreaks, it is crucial our communities understand the potential impacts and how to minimize and mitigate those events,” he said.

The course is limited to 40. A FEMA student ID is required to register. Go to https://cdp.dhs.gov/femasid. To register for the course, go to https://awr117casper.eventbrite.com.

For more information, contact Cotton at 307-235-9400 or the Wyoming Homeland Security Training Program at 307-358-1920.

Date: 5/12/2014



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