Emergency Response

Emergency Response

For nearly 40 years, APHIS' central mission has been to protect the health and value of U.S. agricultural, natural, and other resources. But as America has changed, that mission has expanded and evolved. Today, in addition to protecting the health of livestock, poultry, and crops from foreign diseases and pests, APHIS also works closely with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide assistance and coordination during all-hazards emergencies, including natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.

APHIS has a long history of successfully responding to traditional animal and plant health emergencies, such as outbreaks of Avian Influenza and Mediterranean Fruit Fly, and it continues to build and refine these capabilities, as well as to conduct test exercises and prepare for all-hazard situations. In other words, our job is to make sure we have planned and tested our capabilities in advance and that when faced with an emergency, we can swiftly dispatch the right experts to handle the situation.

Program Priorities

  • Plant Health Response

    Plant Protection and Quarantine's (PPQ) Emergency and Domestic Programs unit provides national leadership and coordination in crop biosecurity and emergency management.

  • Animal Health Response

    Veterinary Services Surveillance, Preparedness and Response Services (SPRS) mission includes preparing and practicing animal health and all-hazard response plans. SPRS strengthens and integrates preparedness and response services by responding to animal health problems with solutions that meet customers’ needs and are appropriate in intensity and scope.

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