Vol. 2, No. 3, March 2006

Printer-Friendly PDF Version


Corner Store Conversations

Things have been hopping for SART! Many new projects that have been waiting for development have been initiated and work is under way -- regular Advisory Board meetings, a simulation in June, meetings with our agency representatives to further develop relationships, county SART roll-out preparation, pilot county organizational meetings, Web site improvements, developing a pet-friendly shelter how-to guide, brochure and video updates, responder orientation CD, the monthly newsletter, response equipment acquisition and inventory… and the list goes on.

We are not the only ones this busy. National SART has been pushing forward as well growing the number of states participating in SART. Check out the most recent national SART online newsletter.

Our EARS representative, Ms. Raquel Aluisy, sent us a heads-up that a resolution is being submitted to Governor Bush to declare May 7, 2006 to be Florida Animal Disaster Preparedness Day. We will keep you posted on its status.

A bill with language regarding pet-friendly shelters recently passed through a Florida House of Representatives committee. The next steps are for it to face a House and Senate vote. We will be tracking its progress.

Have some news of your own to report? Let us know! Until then, enjoy this month's Sentinel.


Mounted Search and Rescue

"Search and rescue" may conjure up images of people on foot with tracking dogs. But did you know that there are mounted search and rescue (MSAR) teams?

"MSAR is typically not fully explored in search and rescue," says Jorene Downs, author of Mounted SAR: Basic Options. In this article, Downs discusses ways that MSAR can be effectively utilized by search and rescue management. A list of suggested tasks and uses for a mounted team is also discussed.

Downs's article can be accessed through the National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR) Mounted SAR Web page. Click on "Relevant Articles."


Agriculture Literacy Day -- March 16, 2006

In honor of Florida Agriculture in the Classroom and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Florida Ag Literacy Day, hundreds of farmers, ranchers, Farm Bureau members, University of Florida/IFAS Extension faculty, 4-H agents, Master Gardeners, FFA students, and industry representatives go into elementary school classrooms around the state and read a designated children's book about agriculture. FAITC is able to provide the books to volunteers for free because of the funding it receives from the agriculture specialty license plate called the 'Ag Tag.' The books are donated to school libraries afterward.

“Agriculture Literacy Day is a great way for us to teach kids about where their food and fiber comes from,” said Heather Nedley, chairman of Florida Ag in the Classroom. The Gainesville-based, non-profit organization is funded by the agriculture specialty license tag -- the ‘Ag Tag’ -- and is charged with educating students and teachers unfamiliar with agriculture about the industry’s importance.

“Children today are several generations removed from the farm,” said Commissioner Bronson, himself a former agriculture teacher, “so we need to use events like Agriculture Literacy Day to help teach children that their food and fiber doesn’t come from the supermarket.”

Another equally important component of Agriculture Literacy Day: Promoting reading to Florida’s school children to complement Gov. Jeb Bush’s “Just Read, Florida!” initiative.

"Initiatives like Agriculture Literacy Day enable students to work on their reading skills while learning about agriculture," said Florida Education Commissioner John Winn. "Promoting reading through programs like these is a great way to encourage a love of reading."

The books chosen for the 2006 Ag Literacy Day are Pig and Crow by Kay Chorao and 'Til the Cows Come Home by Jodi Icenoggle. Both books are appropriate for grades K-5.

--From "In the News" at the Florida Ag in the Classroom Web page


Palm Beach County Joins Pilot Counties

We cordially welcome Palm Beach County to the pilot county SART group!

An introductory meeting was held in early February to introduce the county SART concept to Ms. Dianne Sauve, ESF-17 Coordinator for the county, and the folks at Animal Care and Control, who have provided the animal and agriculture emergency support during recent emergencies. Representatives from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Division of Animal Industry were also present.

SART pilot counties are now: Bradford, Collier, Gilchrist, Hernando, Hillsborough, Jackson, Marion, Palm Beach, Pinellas, and Santa Rosa.

A draft version of our Creating a County SART manual was sent to assist the group in identifying other key agencies and groups that can provide assistance during an emergency. Palm Beach will also provide feedback on ithe manual's content to better refine it for distribution to the remaining Florida counties.

We are excited to have Palm Beach on board and look forward to the contributions they are sure to make for the county SART program.


2005 Disasters in Numbers

The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (United Nations) and Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium) released the official figures of the number of disasters in 2005.

There were 360 natural disasters last year compared to 305 in 2004, an increase of 18 percent. The number of people affected by disasters also rose in 2005. In total, 157 million people -- 7 million more than in 2004 -- required immediate assistance, were evacuated, injured, or lost their livelihoods. Despite this increase, loss of life was significantly lower than in 2004. Most disaster-related deaths in the last two years were due to single incidents of devastating proportions: the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 and the South Asian earthquake in 2005.

Disasters in 2005 cost a total of $159 billion in damages; $125 billion of this amount is attributed to losses caused by Hurricane Katrina. Costs incurred from disaster damages rose by 71 percent from the total $92.9 billion in 2004.

More information on 2005 disaster figures is available at <http://www.unisdr.org/>.

-- As reported in Disaster Research, 446, Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado, Boulder


National Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Conference, Los Angeles, California, May 15-17, 2006

Hosts: California Citizen Corps, California Service Corps Office of the Governor, California Office of Homeland Security, and the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services.

This conference will offer a program management course, CERT train-the-trainer course, CERT lessons learned, and other emergency preparedness workshops, in addition to guest speakers and topics important to the success of CERT programs nationwide. The conference is open to all CERT program managers, coordinators, volunteer managers, volunteers, and other first responders.

For additional information, contact National CERT Conference Committee, c/o LASD-CLEPP Room 144, 4700 Ramona Boulevard, Monterey Park, CA 91754; (323) 526-5015; E-mail: <info@certconference2006.com>; or visit the Web site <http://www.certconference2006.com/>.

-- As reported in Disaster Research, 447, Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado, Boulder


SART Committees to Begin Work

This year several committees are being set up to tackle some current issues for SART. Committees for Curriculum, Operations Forms, GIS, Animal Tracking, and Executive Summary are currently being formed.

The Curriculum Committee will be looking at the National Incident Management System (NIMS) to make recommendations for compliance, identifying ready-made materials that can be used for training, and making recommendations for required courses for SART members and incident management team participants.

The Animal Tracking Committee has been formed to assist our Web crew with designing and implementing a computer program to input and track displaced animals during an emergency.

Issues facing the GIS Committee include identifying available data layers, who possesses those layers (and is able to share!), and creating the database from which the incident management team will pull data from to create maps during an operational activation.

The Operations Forms Committee will be working on updating some of the forms utilized during activation of the incident management team. A few new forms may make their way into circulation as well.

The Executive Summary Committee will work to maintain summaries of SART activities, which are essential to reporting and grant processes.

A few spots have been reserved for SART members who may have the interest or specialized experience to positively contribute to the committees' work. If you are interested in serving on a committee, please e-mail Liz Wang <wange@doacs.state.fl.us> to be put in contact with the committee chairperson.



Editor: Elizabeth Wang, SART Coordinator, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Animal Industry

Associate Editor: Gregory S. Christy, DVM, State ESF-17 Coordinator, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Animal Industry

The SART SENTINEL is an e-mail newsletter prepared monthly by Elizabeth Wang and the staff of the Florida State Agricultural Response Team. Past issues of the Sentinel are archived on the Florida SART Web Site: <www.flsart.org>.

If you have a story or photo that you would like to have considered for publication in The SART SENTINEL, contact the Editors at <SARTNewsEditor-L@lists.ifas.ufl.edu>.


Disaster Links

For additional information on agriculture, animals, and disaster, visit:

Florida SART Home Page: <www.flsart.org>
UF/IFAS Disaster Handbook: <http://disaster.ifas.ufl.edu/>
Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN): <http://eden.lsu.edu/>

For a complete list of all SART participating agencies, visit the Florida SART Web site: <www.flsart.org>.


 Tip of the Month!
New NIMS Resources On-line

The Federal Emergency Management Agency and its National Incident Management System (NIMS) Integration Center have recently added a number of NIMS-related resources on-line, including:

  • Integrating NIMS into State/Local Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs),
  • Integrating NIMS into Local/Tribal EOPs and SOPs,
  • Training Guidelines for Incident Command System Instructors.

--As reported in Disaster Research, 446, Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado, Boulder