Pork Business asked this question last week: Are you prepared for a disaster? In it, we covered the Emergency Action Plan developed by the National Pork Board. Where that plan looks at keeping operations running smoothly through any situation, the Farm-Level Crisis Plan takes it one step further. It helps ensure other key individuals and entities, such as lenders or neighbors, understand what producers did to care for their animals in an emergency, and that they have taken the necessary steps to continue with a viable business.
Another free service available from the National Pork Board is the Pork Crisis Alert text news service, which delivers essential information to pork producers across the country in the event of a major industry-wide emergency. The new service was introduced in January 2016.
Producers can sign up by texting ‘PorkCrisis’ to 97296. Derrick Sleezer, who was president of the Pork Board when the service was implemented said, “Every day, America’s pork producers are busy on their farms and may not always have immediate access to information that could impact their operation. Disease outbreaks and other emergency situations can spread quickly, so America’s pig farmers need a news service to notify them immediately and enable them to take early action to safeguard their farms.”
In the event of an industry-wide emergency, the Pork Crisis Alert will text producers instructions to access information or other critical resources. Though it will not be used to communicate anything other than emergency situations, the Pork Crisis Alert will be tested twice annually, like a tornado siren that needs to be tested to ensure it works in times of need.
Your Bottom Line and Peace of Mind
It’s very possible your pork operation will experience some level of a crisis in the future. It may be a manure spill or an ice storm, but it could also be as devastating as a fire or tornado.
The good news is that you aren’t alone in keeping your pigs safe and your operation secure. These three free tools – the Emergency Action Plan, and Farm-Level Crisis Plan and Pork Crisis Alert – help all producers, from small farms to multi-site operations, prepare for what could be coming.
Having these plans in place takes preparedness to a new level, so in the event of a bad situation, which no one wants to happen on any farm, producers are ready for the unexpected. They know who to contact and how to move forward to continue caring for their animals.
These services cost nothing but a few moments of your time. Remember: you can’t always prevent the disaster, but you can prepare your farm to face it. Your peace of mind is worth it.