The California Emergency Management Agency works hand in hand with the Department of Food and Agriculture in the development of plans and guidance relating to functions as described in the State Emergency Plan (SEP). The coordination includes shelters, relocation centers, pets, livestock and food safety.
A "Food and Agriculture Emergency" as described in the SEP includes animal and plant products that are produced and consumed within the state. Damage to agriculture, including loss of crops and death of animals, can be the secondary impact of another emergency such as severe weather, flooding, or can result from disease and pest infestation.
- Disruption in production or distribution of agriculture products can result in food shortages.
- Agriculture products, including those produced within California and those shipped into the state, are at risk of contamination at various points in the production cycle.
- Food contamination can result in both localized and widespread food-borne illness, thereby causing a public health emergency.
State Emergency Plan-Emergency Function Food and Agriculture
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) serves as the lead department for coordinating emergency activities related to food and agriculture. The department may assign primary and support roles to those units within the department that have the authorities, capabilities and resources necessary to meet emergency needs. The CDFA supports the following emergency functions:
Care and Shelter: Coordinates with private sector organizations dedicated to providing food, water, shelter and care to animals/livestock. Provides information for human mass care shelters that are currently fairgrounds. Provides food supply lists, emergency food assistance programs, oversees the California Animal Response in Emergency System (CARES) Program and provides food, water, shelter and care to animals/livestock. Coordinates food re-supply during an emergency.
Evacuation: Coordinates with organizations that provide transportation resources and animal care personnel for affected animals/livestock.
Food and Agriculture: Leads efforts to support the continuance, safety and security of production agriculture. Coordinates the integrated federal, state and local preparedness for,
response to, recovery from and mitigation of animal and plant diseases and pests, overseeing the control and eradication of outbreaks of highly contagious or economically devastating livestock diseases or outbreaks of harmful or economically significant plant pests and diseases. Supports the continued movement of production agriculture commodities, when local government resources are exhausted, by coordinating with the Transportation California Emergency Function to facilitate critical movement. Executes routine dairy food safety inspections and other services to ensure the safety of dairy food products that enter commerce. Provides for recovery of impacted food and agriculture industries and resources after disasters by evaluating and reporting agricultural sector damage and resultant economic losses to the Governor’s Office and Cal EMA.
Long Term Recovery: Evaluates and reports agricultural sector damage and resultant economic losses to the Governor’s Office and Cal EMA.
Public Health and Medical: Provides information relative to outbreaks of livestock diseases that may have an impact on human health and coordinates with the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) and rendering companies to support disposal of animal carcasses. Provides information on the available storage sites and staging areas for animal food and medical supplies and animal care personnel. Leads the administration of programs to detect, control and eradicate diseases, insects and vertebrate pests affecting plants and animals, protect human and animal food from contamination and assists local agricultural agencies and animal shelters with efforts to provide food, water, shelter and veterinary care to affected animals. Supports disposal of animal carcasses and manages the State Food Organization and provide for re-supply of food items.
Resources: Provides information on appropriate, available fairgrounds that may be activated as human and/or animal mass care shelters, mobilization centers, storage sites and/or staging areas for emergency response supplies, equipment and personnel.