EmergPreparation & Response

Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) — the state’s livestock health regulatory agency — partners with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Veterinary Services to prepare for and respond to foreign animal diseases. The TAHC/USDA partnership depends on producers, private veterinary practitioners, and allied industry representatives to watch for and report potential signs of diseases and pests.

TAHC and USDA plan, collaborate, and coordinate with the state’s animal health-related agencies, agriculture industries, and other related agencies and parties. TAHC and USDA work to prevent and respond to foreign animal disease outbreaks, dangerous parasite or pest infestations, and attacks by bioterrorists. They are ready to assist in response and recovery during natural or man-made catastrophes, including fires, floods, and hurricanes, in accordance with the FEMA Emergency Response Plan and/or the State of Texas Emergency plan in the following areas:

Emergency Response Activities

Exercises & Training

Operation Saddle Up 2011

In coordination with the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine Veterinary Emergency Team (VET), TAHC personnel conducted this emergency management exercise in College Station. Operation Saddle-Up tested the response and coordination capabilities of both entities in addressing animal issues during disasters. The exercise was a great opportunity to utilize advanced Incident Command System (ICS) training skills and to identify areas of improvement in our response partnership.

Photos from Operation Saddle Up
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Rockdale Natural Disaster Exercises 2010

TAHC has worked to improve the response readiness of its personnel and equipment through advanced training sessions and by addressing lessons learned from disaster responses. Two natural disaster exercises were conducted at the Rockdale County Fairgrounds. The exercise participants were asked to respond to an unknown natural disaster exercise scenario. Participants were expected to to set up an incident command post, operate in the incident command structure, develop written Incident Action Plans, and to maintain and operate response equipment properly. In addition to the opportunity to sharpen leadership and response skills, the exercise proved to be a valuable experience to test response equipment such as generators, trailers and portable corrals.

Photos from the 2010 Rockdale Natural Disaster exercise
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Emergency Management Training