County Administrator's Office
For Immediate Release

UCCE Sonoma County surveys livestock producers for emergency needs

Santa Rosa, CA  –  January 28, 2021  –  In an effort to coordinate safe and efficient animal evacuation in the face of a community emergency or disaster, University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) in Sonoma County is asking poultry and livestock producers to complete a survey of their needs. Their input will inform UCCE and the County of Sonoma departments, local agencies, and private organizations as they develop evacuation plans for rapid deployment of services.

"Wildfire and flooding are significant threats and can be incredibly stressful to agricultural producers, their workers, and the animals they manage," District 2 Supervisor David Rabbitt said. "The goal in better planning is to allow for more efficient reaction during vital moments of disasters to keep people and their animals safe and avoid loss of life or serious injury."

The survey questions will assist poultry, livestock and dairy producers in identifying their needs while preparing their operation for a disaster. Examples of questions include "Do you know how to contact neighbors?" and "Do you have large-scale equipment to help prepare fire breaks?" It also asks producers to list their structures in order of importance in case firefighters need to prioritize their efforts. The survey takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete.

While this survey is designed for producers of commercial livestock, dairy and poultry, all livestock and poultry owners are welcome to use this tool to develop a preparedness plan for themselves. Additionally, people who can provide shelter for evacuated livestock and poultry can submit their information to be entered into a database for use during an emergency.

Upon the survey's completion, UCCE will contact commercial livestock, dairy and poultry producers to develop property maps outlining vital land, water and power supplies, feed, access points, and other critical areas of interest. Producers will also be given the option to share their preparedness information with the County of Sonoma Department of Emergency Management to better inform emergency services personnel of how to assist livestock owners when faced with an emergency. 

This unique situation creates an opportunity for the county and its agricultural producers to coordinate and build a more prepared and resilient agricultural community. While UCCE Sonoma County is collaborating with several county departments including Sonoma County Sheriff, Sonoma County Emergency Management and Sonoma County Department of Agriculture, all individual survey submissions will be viewed only by UCCE personnel. No information from individual survey responses will be reported publicly. This information is being reviewed to help poultry, livestock and dairy producers better prepare for a disaster. 

For more information and to view the survey, please visit ucanr.edu/AgPreparednessSurvey.

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Contact Information:
Stephanie Larson
UCCE Sonoma County
slarson@ucanr.edu
(707) 565-2621

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