It’s not just about disasters at your farm. Just like events in China and India affect our corn and soybean prices, events that happened within our industry can also affect your farming operation. When we think about issues that affect the brand or image of your farm, we often think of emergencies or problems that happen on our own farm. However, emergencies that arise within the industry or other tourist destinations can also affect the image of your farming operation. That is why it’s important to monitor not only your operation but the farm direct marketing sector and similar industries within your state and across the nation. Agri-tourism operation should also be aware of issues occurring in zoos, amusement parks, playgrounds, fairgrounds, and other outdoor entertainment venues. This not only helps you find gaps in your emergency preparedness plan, but it also helps you build on what others have learned. Be sure to update your plan based on what is happening within these industries. Emergency preparedness is a form of business management. As you move forward in your business strategies, looking outside your industry will help you consider the risks and hazards that affect your business.
Think through how an E. coli O157 out break from a traveling petting zoo will affect your business. Talk it over with your support team. Is there a place in your emergency management plan to handle this type of incident? What types of questions will you get from your customers?
A stage collapses during a violent thunderstorm at a county fair. How does this relate to your business? Do you have procedures in place to make customers feel comfortable at your outdoor venue? Do you have a weather radio available to warn of pending inclement weather? These are just some examples emergencies that have happened around the tourism industry. Think through how they can affect your business and plan accordingly.