North Carolina has seen its share of hurricanes and other natural disasters. It seems that every part of the state has been affected by hurricanes. Hugo hit Charlotte. Fran hit Raleigh. Floyd flooded the eastern part of the state. Ivan flooded the west. And of course, the coast has been affected by more than we can count.
But no matter the name, each time agriculture has been affected. And each time, N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services employees jump into action to ensure that businesses and farms can return to business as quickly as possible.
Last week, Commissioner Troxler, assistant commissioners, division directors and other front-line employees gathered in the Agriculture Emergency Operations Center to get the latest on GIS mapping capabilities, hurricane forecasting and other updates on how the department can best respond when the next hurricane comes inland.
Jim Melvin, assistant director of the Food and Drug Protection Division, gave an update on the division’s rapid response teams and how they are ready to respond to any disaster to ensure food safety. The N.C. Forest Service shared details of mapping capabilities and urban response team preparedness. N.C. Emergency Management also shared its mapping capabilities and forecasting abilities.
“This industry also supports jobs, employing 642,000 or 17 percent of the workforce,” Troxler told the group. “With so much at stake, any disruption to the business of agriculture is significant. This is why we review and train to respond to agricultural emergencies. Helping agriculture and agribusiness get back to work following an emergency or natural disaster helps our farm families and our economy.”