Natural disaster affect food supply,tornado websites interactives,business continuity plan audit checklist - Tips For You

This brochure presents the preliminary findings of a study of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on the impact of natural hazards and disasters on the agriculture sector and subsectors in developing countries. There are major data gaps on the impact of natural hazards and disasters on the agriculture sectors in developing countries. Humanitarian aid and official development assistance to the agriculture sector is small when compared with the economic impact and needs in the sector.
The agriculture sectors need to be mobilized as proactive implementation partners for the delivery of the post-2015 framework on disaster risk reduction so as to enhance local action and build resilience of the most vulnerable, which are often also the most food insecure.
Recent natural disasters, such as the earthquake in Haiti, show just how devastating a natural disaster can be. Emergency response to any type of disaster must be done as quickly and as efficiently as possible to lessen the damage as well as the stress and anxiety of disaster victims.
Disaster food, when prepared ahead of time, can alleviate some of the worries that come after a disaster strikes.
Without protection from disasters risks, the most vulnerable people cannot begin to build their resilience and reduce the risks they face in order to become food secure. WFP is a leading innovator in the area of food security and disaster risk reduction and has pioneered cutting-edge emergency preparedness and early warning systems that have been adopted globally.
What do Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy, tornadoes across the Midwest and the Kamaishi earthquake in Japan all have in common?
FSM: What are the main areas that require advance preparation to ensure safe food after a natural disaster hits? FSM: Around 30 states have Food Protection Task Forces comprising regulatory, academic and industry members, which are great resources for these types of planning issues. Kalis and Blake: Other types of local first responders that conduct emergency preparedness exercises may be willing to include foodservice facilities. Collaborative emergency preparedness training and exercising before an emergency are critical as these activities define roles, introduce the participants to each other and identify areas needing improvement before an actual event. Hatch: Advanced preparation is essential to the viability of any food establishment, from the supplier to the retailer. Environmental Health Training in Emergency Response (EHTER): CDC has collaborated with federal, state and local public health and environmental health partners to develop the EHTER awareness-level course. Environmental Health Specialists Network (EHS-Net): EHS-Net was established to contribute to a better understanding of the causes of restaurant-related foodborne illness outbreaks and to translate that understanding into improved prevention practices.
National Voluntary Environmental Assessment Information System (NVEAIS): NVEAIS is an effort to systematically collect, analyze, interpret and disseminate environmental data from foodborne illness outbreak investigations nationwide. Kalis and Blake: One major challenge is ensuring key parties understand roles and responsibilities during emergency response and recovery.
In addition, resources for any emergency planning and training often are challenging to obtain and must be prioritized with other important public health issues. Finally, getting the necessary time commitment from community partners and stakeholders to prepare for potential food and water safety issues during emergencies and disasters can be quite challenging, especially if staff members are limited and competing priorities exist within a particular agency, organization, company or institution. Hatch: Planning and preparing for disasters is a foreign concept to many in the restaurant business.
Pandak: When developing plans, the potential influx of relief and recovery workers to an area impacted by a natural disaster should be considered. Employing social media to access local government sites may provide the means for obtaining information following a natural disaster. Corby: Communication and transportation can oftentimes become a major challenge for responding in an effective manner. FSM: After a natural disaster hits, what are some commonly overlooked areas in need of consideration and improvement?
Kalis and Blake: Following a natural disaster, a key thing to consider is addressing food safety to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Food preparers will most likely desire to acquire food from a licensed and permitted facility. Finally, the foodservice workforce can be greatly impacted during an emergency or disaster. Kalis and Blake: Before reopening an establishment, an assessment must be conducted by local authorities to determine the extent of damage to the foodservice facility. Foodservice workers may wish to seek educational and awareness training on disaster contingency plans for their establishment so that they can be prepared when an emergency or disaster strikes. The New Jersey food and agriculture sector had one driving objective in planning for a widespread emergency: Keep people fed. An important role for the NJ DOH was to assist the state’s retail and wholesale food businesses to prepare for, respond to and recover from a disaster. States should prepare for catastrophic events such as hurricanes and major storms by creating a toolbox of needs and actions. Hatch: Reopening a foodservice establishment after a disaster must include closely working with the local health department.
Corby: In some cases, a foodservice establishment may be provided a temporary operating license or permit that would allow them to operate using alternative facility measures and a limited menu. FSM: How should processors prepare, in terms of product storage, transportation, etc., to get safe food where it is needed after a natural disaster? Hatch: Stockpiling is not really an option due to temperature controls, storage space needed and expiration dates.
FSM: How should retail facilities deal with product spoilage and associated issues (waste disposal, water, pest control) after a natural disaster? Kalis and Blake: Retail facilities would benefit from having plans in place to address their individual emergency priorities prior to an emergency or disaster. Preparedness can be accomplished through developing standing contracts with companies or organizations that perform these services or through mutual-aid agreements prior to the event. Hatch: There must be some cooperation with the local officials and waste management to ensure prompt and complete removal of putrescible waste. Corby: There are a number of ways to delay thawing and spoilage that retail establishments should be aware of.
Retail firms should consult with regulatory agencies concerning the possibility of using alternative potable water sources, hand-washing facilities and portable toilets. Pests can become an issue of concern as well following a disaster, and operators must ensure the establishment is pest-free.
The first step in any successful response by industry is building relationships with regulatory and emergency management agencies before the onset of a disaster. Developing a robust emergency operating plan for your establishment goes hand in hand with relationship building. Among the most significant challenges to robust advance preparation is creating and then sustaining the corporate will to invest in a stockpile of supplies and equipment that could be deployed at a moment’s notice. At the end of the day, good corporate citizens participate in the life of their community in good times and in bad. FSM: Looking back at recent natural disasters, what worked well, not so well, and what can we do better? Kalis and Blake: One shining example of a mechanism that has worked very well for emergency response surge capacity is the use of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) to increase the capacity of responders to address issues related to food safety. Through EMAC, additional assistance can be quickly forthcoming, such as equipment, supplies and personnel, to assist a community with reopening retail food establishments and ensuring food safety to protect public health. Corby: During the 2003 power outage in New York City, my staff was fortunate to all have direct-connect, two-way communication devices as no cellphones would work.
FSM: How do we do more with less or nothing, and how do you manage to prioritize what needs to be done?
Kalis and Blake: The capacity to respond may be further impacted with the onset of an emergency or disaster. Foodservice facilities will likely wish to prioritize limited resources to address challenges that could impact public health.
Corby: Coordination through ICS or emergency management will set priorities and allow field officials to concentrate where directed. Debra Pandak is a senior program manager in CSS-Dynamac’s Emergency Response and Disaster Recovery practice. Joe Corby is the executive director for the Association of Food and Drug Officials following a 37-year career with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Division of Food Safety and Inspection. Silliker Global Certification Services is an independent subsidiary of Mrieux NutriSciences established to provide clients with certification to many internationally recognized schemes. The Prepared Hour, LLC was created to provide guidance to individuals and families who desire to prepare in advance for those ‘life storms’ that will roll in some time in the future, often without warning. Many good experiences and some not so good experiences touch our lives everyday. We are directly supporting and assisting with relief of those people worldwide, who have been directly or indirectly affected by natural or major humanitarian disasters, are internally displaced refugees or affected by conflict zone issues. Our strategies are to implement Emergency Response Operations & Post-Disaster Response Operations of living quarters, humanitarian aid and sustainable schemes to help rebuild integral infrastructures for the millions of needy people worldwide.
Natural Disaster damages have risen from an estimated $20 billion on average per year during 1990-2000; to about $100 billion per year during 2000-10, this is a massive fivefold increase of the cost of disaster relief response in a single decade. We have conducted research detailing the recovery costs & process for global natural disasters as well as humanitarian crisis relief. Natural disasters affect everyone; directly or indirectly, and when natural disasters shook Pakistan in 2011, 90% of the area affected was the economical and industrial heart of Pakistan, Punjab, where rice, wheat grains and cotton are produced.


If we fail to address this issue the repercussions on global economies will put all humanity in great jeopardy of befalling a catastrophic domino effect. Natural hazards and disasters, such as fires, floods, earthquakes, tornados and windstorms, affect thousands of people throughout the country and the world every year. When major disasters, such as a powerful earthquake or tornado, disrupt everyday life by destroying homes and cutting off sources of power, people may need disaster relief to survive. Donations and contributions can be made to various relief organizations that provide disaster food supplies to devastated populations. Disaster survival kits should consist of enough emergency food that can sustain for long periods of time, such as ready to eat meals.
Disaster risk reduction is therefore a prerequisite for sustainable development and for eliminating hunger. Food and water in affected areas may become contaminated with microbiological and chemical agents. If no planning has occurred for food protection after a disaster, food facilities can initiate these discussions with the health department.
Plans can address topics such as how to protect food during long power outages and how to address flooding or sewage backups, spills and other events that could affect water quality. Also, mutual-aid agreements can be put into place to help define roles and responsibilities and provide assistance during any emergency event that may affect food and water safety.
Plans should be done at the facility level with input from partners and regulators alike that factor in the needed elements for safe operation after a disaster. Having a trained field staff with knowledge on preparing for natural disasters is government’s best hope for being able to respond effectively. During emergency response, state and local authorities perform many critical functions, such as conducting food safety assessments and inspections, testing drinking water supplies and controlling disease-causing vectors.
CDC is collaborating with CDP to develop an EHTER operations-level course to allow environmental health professionals to use and practice response and recovery skills, including those related to food safety, in a disaster setting. For food safety professionals in the restaurant industry, this training provides information on investigating a foodborne illness outbreak from an environmental health perspective and on applying FDA guidelines for sanitation, food preparation and storage used in the foodservices industry.
EHS-Net studies and associated plain-language summaries provide valuable information about important restaurant food safety practices. The system will provide food safety program officials with information to help prevent foodborne illness outbreaks associated with restaurants and other food venues.
Usually existing laws and plans need to be supplemented with specific food and water emergency response plans (as described above). From the large chains down to the local restaurants, owners and operators have their hands full with day-to-day operations and attend to disasters as they happen. In some situations, a government agency may provide foodservice to feed relief workers, but not always. Facilities should incorporate this into their planning and be familiar with local sites and the use of texting, Facebook, Twitter, etc. The consistent availability of utilities such as electricity, natural gas, potable water and sewage containment is critical for ensuring that food is properly stored, prepared and disposed of in a safe manner. During an emergency or disaster, well-intentioned people within and outside of the community often donate food items for affected populations. The risk of contamination in food prepared outside of a regulated environment is elevated, a problem that became a major area of concern following the devastating EF-5 tornado in Joplin, MO, in May 2011.
All disasters are local, and it takes local solutions to mitigate the effects and quickly recover from an event. Facility disruptions are always a major concern, particularly with the availability of potable water or the loss of power.
What are some necessary components of training that food handlers should receive on this topic? A facility’s capacity for food storage, preparation, service and disposal cannot be determined without an assessment. From this objective came Operation Food Distribution, which became part of the overall NJ Emergency Operations Plan. Much of the work was accomplished through our various food private sector associations and through funding to Rutgers. The interdependencies of various sectors are critical to ensure a safe and secure food supply. Reopening criteria are basically the same, but local ordinances may differ when a disaster happens. Equipment such as refrigerators, freezers, cooking equipment, processing equipment, dishwashers, water heaters and garbage disposals should be functioning properly. Food processors and suppliers may wish to make advance arrangements to provide necessary food, water and supplies so that establishments can safely reopen. In my experience, I see transportation to the affected areas as the number one problem due to road conditions and lack of supply from the wholesalers. Oftentimes, large processors will communicate very closely with emergency management officials for guidance. One thing that can be expected at retail food facilities after a disaster is an increased presence of rodents. Realistic estimates of volumes of trash, liquid and solid waste and other needs are critical so that proper plans can be put in place. These include the use of backup generators to provide electricity, the use of blankets, quilts or newspaper to cover refrigerated or frozen foods stored in chest-type compartments, using alternate refrigeration such as refrigerated vehicles, the use of dry ice or packaged ice or placing perishable cold foods in the freezer to delay thawing. Industry and regulators are partners with a common purpose: to ensure the health of the dining public. Since operations are the key to a successful response, all store, multiunit and executive management levels need to be involved.
Other challenges are holding mock events to test readiness, keeping stakeholders accountable for fulfilling each of the responsibilities assigned to them on the planning matrix and proactively reaching out to state and local regulatory and emergency management to gain preapproval for emergency operating plans. On the high side are such items as structural damage, flooding, fire and the loss of utilities. When we pull together as partners with a common purpose, we help control risk and mitigate the aftereffects of disaster.
In fact, the National Emergency Management Association has an EMAC model Mission Ready Package for retail food and lodging assessment and inspection. In addition to EMAC, other mutual-aid agreements can be created to provide assistance and support related to food and water safety. For Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, much of the initial recovery response was led by government agencies.
This allowed us to have real-time communication with field staff while assessments in the field were being conducted. One way to address this challenge is by combining or leveraging resources, which is often accomplished through the establishment of mutual-aid agreements. Identifying populations most at risk for foodborne illness following an emergency or disaster is critical, including the elderly, immunocompromised, children, pregnant women, people with disabilities and others.
Natural disasters are known to impact our most vulnerable people the most, and responders should always consider these individuals first.
Pakistan is a major producer of world cotton, with a 30% stake in the industry; with its industry highly damaged the cost of cotton has risen having a knock on affect on global trade and global economies. Tornados, fires, and mudslides can cause serious damage to peoplea€™s homes and disrupt lifestyles. Relief food in the form of ready to eat meals can be easily distributed to large groups of people at once via an airdrop or distribution on the ground. MRESTAR offers a variety of delicious and affordable meals ready to eat for these exact moments.
Food safety risks are mainly linked to unsafe food storage, handling, preparation and ill employees.
Foodservice facility managers will likely wish to make a list of all questions and concerns prior to attending an emergency planning meeting. Some of the common areas are backup power, alternate water supply, innovative (and approved) methods of liquid and solid waste disposal and volunteer training on food safety.
For example, FEMA ESF [Emergency Support Function] #11 addresses food safety during a disaster and the agencies involved.
Regulatory officials know their communities, the food establishments that exist there and industry representatives who can be called upon when a disaster strikes. This free 32-hour, introductory-level training provides an overview of environmental health topics and challenges faced during emergencies.
This information can be very useful for the development of effective restaurant food safety interventions. We have seen that advanced preparation is not only the smart thing to do but can lead to a strong business after a disaster.
How to plan and be prepared for the pressure that operating commercial facilities will experience? Social media also presents a means to communicate with employees regarding the status of foodservice provider(s)—texting may be one of the only ways to communicate early on following a natural disaster when Wi-Fi and Internet connections may be down. Such utilities are also necessary for ensuring proper sanitation and hygiene of those engaged in foodservice.


Those responsible for food access and distribution will likely wish to follow existing food safety guidance regarding the donated items (or develop their own). Local authorities were challenged to assess or regulate donated food items because of limited staff and the sheer volume of food being donated by community members and outside sources.
People may be forced to evacuate or may have suffered the loss of their belongings and property, and thus may be unable to report to work or assist with feeding efforts in the affected community. It is important for food establishment owners and operators to know who in their community, both public and private, can provide these alternate sources in the event of disaster.
Food safety concerns may many times be addressed with Temperature Control for Safety [TCS] foods, although the freezing of canned foods that may occur during a power outage or blizzard in colder climates places stress on the can because of the swelling that may occur.
Depending on the severity of the emergency or disaster, some common foodservice facility challenges include decomposed food, lack of utilities and trash service, mold, lack of available workforce, limited availability of food suppliers, damaged equipment and infrastructure and the presence of rodents, insects and animals.
Plan participants included the NJ Food Council, Rutgers University, NJ DOH, NJ Department of Agriculture, NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, NJ State Police, Community Food Banks, FDA and other public and private sector players. This is one example in which partnerships among the private sector, academia and the public sector are so vital.
This is where preplanning comes into play, where the establishment owner has effectively communicated with health officials before any disaster to discuss reopening protocol and know what is expected of them by the regulatory authority. At times when food products will need to be destroyed, this should be conducted in a manner that will not allow them to accidentally be put back into domestic channels; these products should be segregated from all others with a sign or posting which indicates they are not for sale. Once an event occurs, logistics can be extremely challenging, especially if infrastructure and transportation routes are severely impacted, such as during a major flood, hurricane or earthquake.
Arrangements could be made in advance for increased frequency and volume of pest control service, trash service and even chemical disposal. An example is the recently revised Emergency Action Plan for Retail Food Establishments, produced by the Conference for Food Protection. Loss of power can be overcome if generators have been prestaged and can be swung into service quickly, and if alternative sources of potable water have been arranged. Mississippi has developed an Emergency Food Safety Inspection Form to clear a food facility for reopening without a pre-opening inspection.
When industry plays a leading role in the process, communities return to normal quickly and everyone wins. State authorities can tailor this tool and use it for emergency planning and response in their jurisdictions. Such agreements were in place during the response to the devastating EF-5 tornado in Joplin, MO, in May 2011, when different jurisdictions throughout the state sent personnel to assist the local health department to conduct assessments of and reopen local retail foodservice facilities. Also, some education on the part of food safety professionals, namely local health departments, needs to be done notifying the public about donating foods after a disaster. For example, the use of water supplies will have to be inspected, tested and approved by government health agencies before distribution through the supply network.
Since travel was restricted, we could set up command centers in our supervisors’ homes where they provided guidance and direction to field officials.
Federal assistance also may be available to state and local jurisdictions, especially during an event in which a Presidential Disaster Declaration has been issued. In a crisis, foodservice providers become part of the infrastructure that protects public health.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH), Division of Emergency and Environmental Health Services, Environmental Health Services Branch in Atlanta. Survivors of flooding disasters, as well as tornado disasters, fire disasters, and drought disasters can benefit from ready to eat meals that are prepared in advanced and can be distributed at a momenta€™s notice. Disaster food that has been placed in home food storage areas should be inspected regularly to monitor expiration dates and to replenish the supply of emergency essentials for each member of your family. Processors with warehouses and retail stores that lack power cannot maintain proper temperature control.
Everyone is capable of playing a major role in disaster response and being familiar with all appropriate contacts is crucial. The faster an establishment can get back on their feet, the quicker they can begin preparing food for the community and those responding to assist in the recovery.
Availability of the workforce is critical to take into consideration during the planning and preparation for food safety prior to the event. After the April 2011 tornadoes in Alabama, there were many success stories of foodservice establishments using approved hauled water, portable toilets and generator power to serve food safely and efficiently until normal operations could be re-established. Reopening criteria can also be established in the planning process undertaken before an event. As program manager of the Food Safety Program at the New Jersey Department of Health (DOH), I had paid close attention to the aftermath of Katrina, including the news headlines of food and water shortages, and the efforts to move food into the affected regions.
Our message to industry was to develop (or improve) a site-specific emergency plan covering preparation, response and recovery.
If an outside salvage operation is utilized to conduct salvaging, they should be licensed or approved by a regulatory agency; if the establishment will be salvaging themselves, then guidance should be provided to them to conduct this in a safe and orderly fashion. In addition, all facility operations must be functioning properly before the establishment reopens.
When potable water is needed, for instance, large dairies and beverage plants will commonly bottle potable water and make it available to impacted areas. It is helpful to use a planning matrix that lists all functional departments horizontally and time horizons vertically. On the low side (only in terms of being less visible in most cases to the media) is the plight of your employees whose individual stories are often overshadowed. Other states have similar protocols and, as an industry, we should encourage all jurisdictions to follow suit.
Using available planning tools is a good place to start when doing state and local planning. Prepackaged and non-potentially hazardous items are welcome, but home-prepared goods are warned against.
Limited quantities of potable water may initially impact a facility’s ability to reopen and operate safely. Disaster preparation is crucial to make sure you are ready for any type of major disaster that may come your way.
Emergency water should be stored in durable plastic containers, not reused milk or juice cartons or glass containers that could break.
Foodservice facilities may find it impossible to cook the food they have during natural disasters due to a lack of facilities or fuel.
All too often, there are areas of food safety that are completely foreign to the novice food handler, and some are risk factors that must be taught in order to be fully understood. Those businesses that are able to operate will experience longer workdays and require extra staff to accommodate the increased number of people needing food. Incident Command System [ICS] usually addresses this for management officials, but field officials may need to operate out of their homes and conduct establishment assessments within their home communities until communications can be established. Managers of foodservice establishments are encouraged to make customized plans for contingency arrangements within their control.
This was done through preplanning and with the assistance of local health officials and emergency managers.
It was clear that a major disaster or catastrophic event, whether accidental, natural or deliberate, could substantially disrupt the food supply and distribution network within the state. One tool we distributed to our retail food sector was the Emergency Action Planning Guidance for Retail Food Establishments. Government officials should never underestimate the valuable resource that exists within industry. The hourly food worker often lives paycheck to paycheck, which is a fragile state of affairs in the best of times.
By focusing on disaster preparedness early on, you can ensure that you will always be ready before an emergency occurs. Poor sanitation, including lack of safe water and toilet facilities, can compound these risks. Private organizations do a fine job of day-to-day food safety training, but after a disaster, we do not have the time to conduct such, so JIT food safety training is always needed. Addressing workforce support for essential food services is another key item in advance planning. A prolonged closure of one of your establishments can be devastating to his or her livelihood. Concurrent with the above preparations for our food businesses, we worked with local health departments responsible for enforcing retail food rules in establishments such as grocery stores and restaurants. Other states have amended or are considering amending their state food code by including the option whereby facilities having a preapproved emergency operations plan may stay open during an emergency. Several states, including Florida and Delaware, are developing plans for critical services re-entry, and food establishments with well-developed and preapproved emergency operating plans may be included.



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