; Green Industry: Planning to Continue Business After a Disaster | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Green Industry: Planning to Continue Business After a Disaster

Virginia Morgan


The green industry is a mix of production, service, and trade-type businesses. This course focused on the production sector, which includes growers of nursery crops (woody perennial plants that are usually grown in containers or in-ground), floriculture crops (bedding plants, potted flowering plants, foliage plants, cut cultivated greens, and cut flowers), and turfgrass sod farms. Because the green industry represents a significant portion of the nation’s economy, disasters that affect the green industry affect, directly or indirectly, the rest of the economy. Even production operations not physically affected by a disaster may be disrupted due to infrastructure shutdowns, shipping problems associated with inputs and products, reduced consumer demand, family and environmental concerns, cash flow disruptions, and perhaps enforced restrictions.

Producers have invested significant amounts of time, energy, and finances into their operations. Staying in business until one is ready to close down or transfer the operation is the goal. However, closing down for good may happen sooner than a producer is ready if planning for recovery doesn’t occur before the disaster. All sections of the country may face one or multiple types of natural disasters, and all are at risk of experiencing a man-made disaster.

The project originally was to be a 6-hour hands-on workshop including an interactive exercise focusing on procedures for sustaining productive capacity through market and production interruptions. It was to also include expert presentations, peer interaction, and a risk aversion assessment. The training was to take place at the 2006 Gulf States Horticulture Expo, but because only three people signed up for it, the training was modified and postponed until the 2007 Expo. The course was offered as part of the pesticide certification section--twenty-six producers participated.

A Web site (www.greenindustryemergencyplan.com) was created for producers to post their emergency plans, inventories, insurance and banking information. In addition, a course was developed based on FEMA´s ReadyBusiness. The material includes a facilitator guide, producer booklet (emergency plan template--hard copy) and a list of emergency numbers for state (Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina) and federal agencies.