Resource Institute: A
U.S. & International Resource on the Scope of Humanitarian Assistance
Exercise 2000: Canada - Mexico - United States
Animal Disease Response Simulation Exercise
Stephen M. Apatow
Director of Research
Resource Institute Biodefense Reference Library
Animal and Zoonotic Disease Center
USA: (203) 668-0282 Western USA: (775) 884-4680
and participants in this exercise included:
Exercise 2000: Final Reports (Texas)
and Plant Health Inspection Service, United States Department of Agriculture
Animal Health Commission, Texas
Agriculture Coalition (AAC): Representatives on the US National Animal
Emergency Management Steering Committee included the Farm Bureau, National
Cattlemen's Beef Association, the National Pork Producers' Council and
the American Sheep Industry Association.
General de Salud Animal, Comisíon Nacional de Sanidad Agropecuaria
Products Directorate, Laboratories Directorate, Policy, Planning and Coordination
for Policy and Epidemiology, National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease,
Network Offices (Programs and Operations) in Alberta and Ontario
Ministries of Agriculture
Cattlemen’s Association, Canadian Pork Council, Canadian Dairy Breeds
Measures Ontario, Emergency Preparedness Canada
action Report: TERT Tripartite Exercise 2000 November 1 – 9, 2000
by Walter L. Riggs, DVM, USDA APHIS VS, and Ken Waldrup, DVM, PhD,
Animal Health Commission
observations in report:
2000 Exercise: Observations, Comments and Lessons Learned
of a foreign animal disease disaster was very new to the emergency management
that required separate evaluations apart from the exercise itself: 1) the
authority of the TERT to act, 2) the activation of the Texas Emergency
Operations Center, 3) the ability of TERT personnel to direct and control
the disease event and 4) the internal evaluation (“hot wash”). Dr.
Williams stated that the TERT personnel were well versed in disease control
but less acquainted in matters pertaining to emergency management.
exercise also provided an opportunity for increased awareness to local
and state emergency management officials of the devastating potential of
a foreign animal disease to our state and nation.
the exercise created a sense of urgency for foreign animal disease awareness
to leaders at all levels of government. Preparedness is the key.
Corporation: Operations Evaluation Group
Speers, Matt Robinson, and Michael Webb
observations in report:
Emergency Response Team Exercise
goal of Tripartite Exercise 2000 was to practice and evaluate a North American
emergency response plan for Foot and Mouth Disease, focusing on communication
and use of the vaccine.
makers frequently lacked information they needed during conference calls,
such as epidemiological data on the spread of the disease, forms that should
have accompanied samples for testing, and contact information for other
countries, states, and agencies.
issue was recognition of who could authorize compensation for producers
as well as the ability to do this quickly so as to have a “check in hand”
when visiting individual farms. Exercise players at all levels of
the exercise debated who had the legal authority to quarantine, depopulate
and indemnify herds.
of supporting documentation and written forms of communication hindered
the responders in accomplishing mission objectives.
communication with other government agencies and organizations potentially
has a tremendous impact on identifying and halting the spread of the disease.
Given the possibility that bioterrorism was the cause of the outbreak,
USDA could be involved with both crisis and consequence management.
This would require effective communication among law enforcement responders
such as OIG and FBI. APHIS’s own bioterrorism / disaster group was
not observed to be a player in the exercise though they are reportedly
a necessary link for management of an intentional outbreak. Similarly,
the establishment of quarantine necessitates communication with customs
officials, and late notification raises questions on the efficacy of banning
exports early in the exercise. At the State level, responders were
unsure who had responsibility to notify other states. The TERT lacked
even the names and contact information of local agencies with whom they
might collaborate in a real-world outbreak.
the Incident Coordinator stated a high priority on messages for the public
and industry, this was somewhat lost as a focus of the exercise.
we observed that the Emergency Management Leadership Team did not play
as a group in the exercise, though several of the constituents were present.
This group, who would serve as staff and advisors to the CVO and coordinate
efforts from their various agencies, may be especially important in a real-life
outbreak when the CVO could be in downtown Washington, DC, headquarters
dealing with various hot political issues. We also found reluctance
on the part of participants to perform within a well-defined “chain of
command” as well as reluctance of the Incident Coordinators to utilize
their authority during the exercise, resulting in defused task accountability.
focus of both the exercise and its preceding orientation was the Vaccine
Decision Tree. Though a vaccine decision team was tasked with discerning
whether the U.S. should utilize vaccination as an outbreak control measure,
in the end, the actual decision was made in a meeting at APHIS with the
entire, multi-disciplinary group. It was unclear whether this was
for educational and training purposes of all those involved, or was needed
because the vaccination decision team had difficulty gathering all the
data needed to make a confident recommendation. While the vaccine
decision team could gather information and make a recommendation on whether
to vaccinate, the team did not seem prepared to handle the “hot” political
issues that might arise. At the state level, players were concerned
and confused over their role in the vaccination decision and when it might
be “too late” to use vaccination as a method of subduing the outbreak.
Williams, DVM, Special Assistant, Office of the Governor
Emergency Management Agency
observations in report:
- TERT Field Operations Site (FOS) - Tripartite 2000 Exercise
provided a glimpse at the problems inherent in a disease outbreak that,
in large part, has no public health significance being an activity
of the Public Health Department.
state resources through emergency management costs could be cut by
as much as 80%. Such cost cutting could only be accomplished by moving
quickly which would require a separate animal in disaster functional annex
that is not under public health.
however, did not supply the equipment and logistical support that they
could have had they had a thorough understanding of the resources available
through state emergency management.
the single most persistent road block during the exercise was the
question of funding. Who pays for what, how much and when?
Nancy Roberts, USDA APHIS VS, Oklahoma
observations in report:
7:37:25 AM: Summary of Recommendations from the Planners/Coordinators based
Evaluators’ and Observers’ reports.
on the exercise scenario or outbreak should be provided to participants
or emergency responders prior to their arrival on site.
on administrative forms to use, what information was needed and who to
submit them to were being held on Day 1; this should have been determined
prior to the exercise.
Incident Command System provides direction on organizing a response to
an emergency and should be used as a resource and possible guide. Consideration
should be given to provide TERT members Incident Command training.
Operations Site (FOS) and EMOC apparently were following different time
lines for the scenario which led to confusion regarding the numbers and
locations of affected premises, quarantines, etc.
personnel on this exercise needed guidance on who had purchasing ability
for supplies or for indemnification of infected/exposed animals.
This and other policy decisions should be made in advance and provided
needs for the exercise were not adequately addressed, or underestimated,
i.e., fax machines, copiers, flip charts, teleconference equipment.
that some of the confusion on Monday was a result of a lack of strong leadership,
that is, participants did not seem to be clear as to who was in charge,
what their roles and responsibilities were, and how to begin.
few cellular phones were available for this exercise. In a real emergency,
they would be essential for coordination of field activities as well as
between State and Federal computer database systems and e-mail systems
remains a serious problem, and will be magnified with concurrent outbreaks
in multiple states. Finding a compatible nationwide system may be a challenge,
but it will be essential for rapid communication between multiple states.
decisions regarding quarantine and depopulation, animal and animal products
movement, etc., should be developed early and clearly communicated in writing.
Too much time was spent in conference calls discussing policy decisions,
and final decisions were not communicated clearly to the FOS.
language barriers were not a problem with this exercise, bilingual personnel
might be essential in an emergency to facilitate communication between
producers, the media, and State and Federal personnel.
Texas Prepares for Emergency Animal Disaster Ground Zero: Tripartite
Information sources, papers, articles
14 Points: Foot & Mouth Preparedness - USA (06) Lessons
learned from other countries and a collection of necessary points which
need to be addressed as part of any plan in the United States.
Impact of Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreak in California: Ekboir,
Jarvis, Bervejillo: Total stamping out is the current US strategy and thus
the policy that would be implemented if an outbreak should occur in California
(APHIS, 1991). However, alternative policies could be a more economical
way of dealing with an outbreak (Garner and Lack, 1995). As the model’s
simulations show, an outbreak could require depopulating California’s entire
cattle herd. If it were known in advance that this result was probable,
the state might find it more economical to vaccinate the entire herd and
quarantine movements with the rest of the US. HOWEVER,
THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH ALTERNATIVE POLICIES WOULD BE PREFERABLE SHOULD
BE EVALUATED IN ADVANCE BECAUSE ONCE AN OUTBREAK HAS OCCURRED, ERADICATION
STRATEGIES ARE LARGELY IRREVERSIBLE.
Impact of Foot-and-Mouth Disease in California: The role and contribution
of animal health surveillance and monitoring services. A
detailed study of the industry and the results of economic modeling reported
by Javier M. Ekboir in the 123-page volume emphasize the crucial importance
of quick detection and immediate control of an outbreak of the disease.
Ekboir's results indicate that a few days could make a difference of billions
of dollars in control costs, production losses, and quarantined markets.
Roots Support Crucial for Preparedness and Response to an Outbreak of Foot
and Mouth Disease in the United States Stephen
M. Apatow, Humanitarian Resource Institute Emerging Infectious Disease
Animal Health Emergency System:
Current Disease Issues/Natural Disaster Issues, Ag Bioterrorism Concerns,
OIE Reportable Diseases, Strategic Plan, Steering Committee, State Standards,
to the Foot & Mouth Disease Reference Library
© 1994-2003 Humanitarian Resource Institute. All rights reserved