On behalf of Dr Tom Holt, State Veterinarian for the State of Florida and Director of the Division of Animal Industries, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, we would like to welcome you to this website. It provides you with resource materials in support of a training exercise on Rift Valley fever. The exercise will be held from 18-20 November 2008 at the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Tallahassee.

The purpose of the training exercise is to provide you with an opportunity to plan, initiate, and evaluate current response concepts and capabilities in a simulated introduction and outbreak of Rift Valley fever in Florida.

View and/or download the material for your personal use, by clicking on the menu items at the top.

The website provides you with links to fact sheets and PowerPoint presentations on the disease, the causal virus, and its epidemiology. They were prepared by several different organizations and individuals. The content is often similar, but presented from different perspectives. Several of the PowerPoint presentations were given at conferences and not specifically written for web viewing. While there may be some slides that are difficult to understand without a verbal commentary, we believe that you will still benefit from viewing the presentation.

Also available are amateur video clips of an August 2008 interview with Dr Koos Coetzer, of the University of Pretoria, Republic of South Africa. Dr Coetzer is a world renowned expert on the disease. He discusses the history of the disease in Africa and the potential impact that the disease could have on Florida.

We strongly recommend that you review the material before arriving at the SEOC in Tallahassee. The exercise planners will assume that you have a broad appreciation of the topic when you arrive at the SEOC. You will operate as one of 6 Focus Groups within the area of your specialization.

We are extremely grateful to the many colleagues who have given us permission to use their presentations on this website. Please revisit the site regularly. We will add new material as it becomes available.

We hope that you will enjoy reviewing the various documents on Rift Valley fever and, further, that you will arrive in Tallahassee eager to participate in the exercise. We are looking forward to meeting you soon!

Paul Gibbs, Greg Christy, Stasia Bembenek, Tineke Kramer and Jocelyn Mullins – Exercise Planning Team.