Vol. 4, No. 4, April 2008

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As this Newsletter “went to press?several openings were still available in the TLAER course sponsored by the Melbourne Zoo. Dates are May 5th-8th. The course runs all day each day at the zoo, 8225 N. Wickham Rd., Melbourne, FL 32940. The target audience ?rescue personnel, veterinarians, vet techs, zoo keepers ?those who may need to work with farm, zoo or even wild animals. Registration is $300; the proceedings on paper is an additional $30 (and the T-shirt is $15). For additional information including costs, contact Deb Anderson (Sunday-Thursday) at (321) 254-9453 x 250 or danderson@brevardzoo.org. The site www.TLAER.org has additional materials of interest about instructors Tomas and Rebecca Gimenez.


FREE Training Course
Understanding the Dangers of Agroterrorism

In June 2008 the Western Institute of Food Safety and Security (WFISS) from the University of California, Davis will offer an introductory agroterrorism course at three Florida locations. AWR-151 is the first of six agroterrorism courses developed by WFISS, with funding and course certification provided by DHS. This course is Free, including a catered lunch!

AWR-151 Awareness - Understanding the Dangers of Agroterrorism A 4-hour course to help build awareness of the threat of agroterrorism to our food supply, the economy and the agricultural infrastructure.

    ?Potential Impacts
    ?Recognition of Response and Recovery Resources
    ?Response and Coordination Strategies for Local, State, Federal, and Private Entities
    ?Identification of Individual Roles Within A Local Response Team

Dates, Locations and Times
June 17: Seffner (Hillsborough County) ?Registration at 7:30 AM, Workshop from 8:00 AM to 12:00 Noon
June 18: Belle Glade (Palm Beach County) ?Registration at 9:30 AM, Workshop from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
June 20: Homestead (Miami-Dade County) ?Registration at 8:30 AM, Workshop from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM


http://wifss.ucdavis.edu/agroterrorism/classes/classesbydate.php mvicino@wifss.ucdavis.edu

Suggested Attendees

Emergency Responders, Supervisors and Managers
Law Enforcement, Fire/Rescue and EMS Personnel
Federal, State, and Local Public Health Agency Personnel
Hospital Clinicians, Administrators, Health Care Providers
Environmental Health and Public Information Officers
Agricultural Industry Personnel, Including Cultivation, Processing, Distribution, Transportation, and Veterinarians
Elected or Appointed Public Officials, and Extension Staff

Curriculum Certification

DHS and the Preparedness Directorate’s Office of Grants and Training have certified all six courses in the WIFSS Curriculum (http://wifss.ucdavis.edu/agroterrorism/classes/course_desc.php). WIFSS provides the only certified comprehensive agroterrorism training available. Certification allows the use of DHS training dollars to support this training for their communities.

Course Sponsors

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Office of Agricultural Emergency Preparedness The University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) Extension

John P Terry, Office of Agricultural Emergency Preparedness, FDACS (850) 410-6756 terryj1@doacs.state.fl.us


Through the Grapevine

“One of the easiest aspects of hurricane preparedness is keeping up the level of public awareness and preparation in the wake of a storm. We have found the real challenge comes in the quiet period between storms. Memories of the destruction and the physical and mental hardships of the last storm start to fade, despite the inevitability that one day another storm will be knocking at the door.?br>

Charlie Crist, Governor
State of Florida


22nd Annual Governor’s Hurricane Conference

The Annual Florida Governor’s Hurricane Conference will be held May 12-16 at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, 1950 Eisenhower Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316.

This year’s conference theme is Maintaining the Vigil While Preparing for the Inevitable. Two days of independent training sessions (a number of which are now closed because they are full) precede the scheduled Wednesday, 1:30 pm May 14th opening general session. The registration document, including information about training opportunities and conference fees, is available at www.flghc.org/docs/GHC_2008_REG.pdf.

Severe weather often affects those least able to protect themselves and their property. The clean-up progresses in Jamaica. (R.Sapp photo)
For additional information visit the web site at www.flghc.org or contact the Governor's Hurricane Conference at (727) 944-2724 or (800) 544-5678.

[As an FYI for Floridians, Texas is also hosting a Hurricane Conference from May 20-22 at the Galveston Island Convention Center, Galveston, Texas. For information, check on line at www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem/pages/hurricaneconference_08.htm.]


Florida Axes Hurricane Supply Sales-Tax Holiday

Blaming the state’s slow economy, it appears that Florida lawmakers have cancelled the 2008 sales-tax-free hurricane-supply shopping period. The program has been in existence barely three years, following a 2004 hurricane season that saw four hurricanes slam into the peninsula. The move is expected to save the state $12 million in a budget shortfall expected to be $3 billion. "We're just making decisions based on priorities," said Senate Finance and Tax Chairman Mike Haridopolos, R- Melbourne.


New Training Module ?Pet First Aid

Emergency First Aid for Cats and Dogs ?It’s new. It’s hot. And it’s on line at www.flsart.org/library/index.htm#PD. Check out the Lesson Plan, PowerPoint Presentation and Student Workbook prepared by a team from the University of Florida:

    ?Dr. Amy Stone, Clinical Assistant Professor
    ?Eric Hallman, Agricultural Safety Specialist
    ?Charles M. Brown, Information and Publications Specialist
    ?Carol J. Lehtola, Associate Professor


Through the Grapevine

Jan and Debbie Hasse of Sarasota Animal Hospital are professional veterinarians, trained at Oklahoma State University. As members of Florida’s Veterinary Corps they participated in the March 2008, 48-hour “planned response to a local disaster” (a hazardous chemical release) at the Marion County 4-H Center in Ocala.

“We were impressed with the readiness of the VETS Team to move rapidly and bring its excellent equipment to bear on the event,” Jan says. “And we were impressed with how all the different groups worked together to achieve quick and effective decontamination results. It was gratifying to be part of this and believe that because of such efforts by so many people, the communication and coordination will only get better.”

Debbie Hasse, DVM, at work inside the
portable VetCorps shelter during the
March 2008 “planned response to a
local disaster?in Ocala.


Florida 2009 SART Conference Goes Green

Florida’s 2009 SART Conference must be held at a “green hotel/conference center.?Why…and what does green mean?

Governor Charlie Crist has signed executive orders initiating state energy-use policies. One requires state agencies and departments to hold meetings and conferences at facilities with the Florida Green Lodging Program designation.

The Florida Green Lodging Program was actually begun in 2004 by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to recognize and reward lodging facilities that conserve Florida’s natural resources. The lodging industry is one of Florida’s largest commercial sectors. In 2005, according to research conducted by Visit Florida, 83.6 million people visited the Sunshine State and about half stayed in a hotel, motel or B&B. With this many visitors, the lodging industry has a significant impact on Florida’s natural resources.

An approved list of
eco-friendly green-lodging facilities can
be found on the
DEP web site.
What’s in it for a hotel or conference center? Why should they “go green??According to the DEP, a facility will: save money by reducing utility costs, market to a new “audience?(state conferences and eco-tourists) and receive free advertising from the DEP.

Here are a few of the recommendations for lodging facilities from the DEP web site at www.dep.state.fl.us/greenlodging/default.htm:
?Turn off or reset heating and cooling systems in unoccupied guest rooms.
?Close draperies and shades when leaving guest rooms to reduce heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer.
?Remind guests to turn off room lights, televisions and radios when not in use.
?Use natural lighting when cleaning and close draperies when leaving rooms.
?Clean the lighting fixtures. (Bulbs produce more light after cleaning.)
?Limit hot water used for cleaning.
?Report necessary equipment repairs to increase performance and decrease energy consumption.
?Install Energy Star clothes washers, which use about half the energy and water (less water to heat and shorter drying times).
?Capture and reuse waste heat from the laundry.


Norway Creates Doomsday Seed Bank

Aerial view of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Norway.

Inside the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. It is guarded 24/7.

Norway has created a "Doomsday Vault," and placed within it 4.5 million seed samples from around the world. At a cost of almost $10 million, the reinforced concrete vault was dug into the side of an Arctic mountain and engineered to withstand climate change, war, natural disasters (earthquakes, floods, etc.) and even nuclear attack. Steel airlock doors ensure a tight seal and the interior is climate controlled for temperature and humidity. The Norwegians have even stationed armed guards ?presumably to protect against polar bears although they are not normally seedeaters ?but threats such as war are not likely in the isolated region, some 600 miles from the North Pole.

The sole purpose of the Svalbard Vault is to protect the precious seeds stored inside, seeds that would certainly be necessary to re-establish crops should they be obliterated or become extinct. This is not the first time anyone has thought of building a permanent seed bank, notes Jessica Damiano, the “Garden Detective?at http://weblogs.newsday.com/features/home/gardendetective_blog/. There are some 1,400 others in the world, so Svalbard is a necessary backup in case others don't make it. A few have already bitten the dust: seed banks in Iraq and Afghanistan have been destroyed by war and another in the Philippines was wiped out in a 2006 typhoon.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault was officially inaugurated on February 26, 2008, less than a year after crews began drilling into the mountainside in the Svalbard archipelago. Though Norway owns the vault, each country that deposits seeds will continue to own their contributions. The vault is expected to last at least as long as Egypt's ancient pyramids. [A very thorough analysis of the seed vault can be seen at www.etcgroup.org/en/materials/publications.html?pub_id=674.]


Boosting AgERT Awareness and Training

“Just wanted to provide you with the AgERT (Agriculture Emergency Response Training) dates for the rest of this year,?writes Gordon Harman, APHIS Liaison to the Center for Domestic Preparedness. “We still have openings for May.?br>

Class 08-08 18-23 May
Class 08-09 8-13 June
Class 08-10 27 July- 1 August
Class 08-11 24 Aug - 29 August
Class 08-12 14-19 September

You may be eligible to train at the nation's premier all-hazards training center, FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, Alabama. CDP is the only federally chartered Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) training center. For additional information, visit http://cdp.dhs.gov.

The Center for Domestic
Preparedness in Anniston, AL.

Information provided by R. Gordon Harman, APHIS Liaison to CDP (256) 847-2350 office and (301) 332-8390 BlackBerry or harmanr@cdpemail.dhs.gov (or harmanr@cdpemail.dhs.gov)

Here is an AgERT puzzle from an introductory training module produced by the Georgia Committee on Agriculture & Food Defense www.agrosecurity.uga.edu. Prior to looking at the slide below (with the answers), can you spot “what’s wrong??



National Alliance of State Animal and Agricultural Emergency Programs
Monthly Networking Conference Call ?April 9, 2008

NASAAEP organizational update: The Interim Board has been working to review the changes suggested in the Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation and will soon have a final version ready. The biggest change is requiring a letter of acknowledgement from both the chief state animal health official and state emergency management agency.


September 2008 meeting at The Conference Center at the Maritime Institute 692 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1952 (866)-629-3196 (www.ccmit.org or www.mitags.org) in Baltimore, MD:
        a. Dates: September 11-12 (Thursday & Friday) Travel days are Wednesday and Saturday
        b. USDA APHIS Animal Care will host the meeting, which will center on companion animal         issues. USDA AHPIS Animal Care and NASAAEP will be working to identify one person from each         state or associated program to provide representation at that meeting. USDA should be able         to cover the cost of attendance for one person from each state as well as meeting room and         other key conference costs. NASAAEP will assist with planning and onsite management of the         meeting.

Our thanks to Kevin Dennison, DVM, CO Veterinary Medical Foundation (303) 318-0447 KevinDennison@colovma.org for
keeping us informed of this national effort.


FoodShield at www.foodshield.org is “a web-based platform designed to create community between the various laboratories and regulatory agencies that make up our nation's food and agricultural sectors. Through secure, integrated resources such as detailed agency profiles, departments of agriculture and health, as well as laboratories, have the ability to communicate and coordinate with their peers in other states.?br>

FoodShield is sponsored by the National Center for Food Protection and Defense. For information contact Carrie Rigdon, FoodShield Coordinator (and laboratory contact), at the University of Minnesota: MMC 807, Environmental Health Sciences, 420 Delaware St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612) 626-2658 crigdon@foodshield.org. For food and agriculture, contact Leigh Ann Stambaugh, AFDO, (717) 757-2888 lstambaugh@foodshield.org.
FoodShield has partnered with the National Center for Food Protection and Defense, University of Minnesota–Twin Cities Campus, 144 Veterinary Science Building, 1971 Commonwealth Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108 (612) 624-2458 ncfpd@umn.edu www.ncfpd.umn.edu. The FPE is a great resource for educational and training materials, and this partnership helps further the mission of farm-to-table food defense.


Unfortunately Prophetic

The March SART Sentinel noted the danger from leaping sturgeon in the Suwannee River. It did not mention stingrays.
In a terrible accident, Judy Zagorski from Pigeon, Michigan died on March 20th when a 75-pound spotted eagle or leopard stingray (also called a bonnet skate) leaped from the water on the Atlantic Ocean side of Vaca Key in the Florida Keys and struck her in the head as she was sunbathing on a family boat. Zagorski, who was with her family at the time, apparently died from injuries sustained from the fall after being struck. According to the family, the boat was moving at about 25 mph.

Bonnet skates can measure up to 8 feet in length, with an 8-foot tail, and weigh up to 500 pounds. They tend to swim close to the surface and can leap out of the water when being pursued.

The bonnet skate that caused
Judy Zagorski’s death lies
dead in the well of the family boat.

“It's just as freakish of an accident as I have heard,?said Jorge Pino of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission who noted that although he has seen stingrays leap into the air, he has never seen them collide with anything. “The chances of this occurring are so remote that most of us are completely astonished that this happened.?br>
The SART community certainly extends its most sincere sympathy to the Zagorski family.


About the SART Sentinel

Editor: Rick Sapp, PhD, Technical Writer, Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Division of Animal Industry [rsa5@cox.net]

Associate Editor: Joe Kight, State ESF-17 Coordinator, Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Division of Animal Industry [kightj@doacs.state.fl.us]

The SART SENTINEL is an E-mail newsletter prepared monthly by Rick Sapp and the members 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, please contact the Editors.