This simple on-farm tool helps to ensure farm safety and directs personnel in emergencies. Any rural landowner who has had a fire or hazardous material spill will tell you that often the key to preventing an emergency turning into a personal or environmental safety disaster is response time. Speed, clear thinking and planning are critical.
The Rural Emergency Plan (REP) has been designed with this in mind. A new tool created by farmers and those on the front lines of emergency response, the REP is a personalized, easy-to-use tool for rural landowners to prepare for personal and environmental safety emergencies on their farms, ranches or acreages. It's also a way to let emergency responders know critically important information about rural properties so they can respond to emergencies quickly, effectively and safely.
Basically, an REP is an emergency response map that each participant fills out for their own location. It is stored in a simple PVC tube holder typically mounted on the main power pole or other central area where it can be easily identified and accessed by emergency personnel. The REP typically includes:
- A map of the farmstead, including the locations of all hazardous substances and emergency
- equipment supplies
- A "runoff map" of the property
- Emergency phone numbers
- A Rural Emergency Plan checklist
- Other key information emergency personnel might need to make fast and effective decisions
Why the REP was produced
The REP was developed by the Alberta Environmental Farm Plan Company (AEFP) and the Alberta Fire Chiefs Association (AFCA). As part of its Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) program, several chapters in the AEFP workbook require emergency planning. For this reason, the development of an emergency planning tool was a logical next step. Working with AFCA, a pilot project was developed and a test program run in 2007 and received very strong interest from producers and emergency responders. That test program serves as the basis for the REP program today.
How producers participate
The REP process has been designed to be a simple one. The first thing participants do is access an instruction kit and construction design from their local fire department or the Web. This kit includes an REP template as well as instructions on how participants can build their own storage tubes.
Once they've filled out the information in the template, participants can then build a storage tube and put the material in it. The next step is to contact their local fire department to let them know where the storage tube is located in the event of an emergency.
Participants can build REP storage tubes themselves. Some groups have also expressed an interest in building and supplying these tubes as a fundraising opportunity.
Where to find out more
General information on the REP program, as well as the REP kit, is available by clicking on the REP icon on the home page of the AEFP Company Web site at www.AlbertaEFP.com. Additional information, including information specific to your area, is available from your local fire department.
A potential fundraising opportunity
A few things interested groups should know
Although still in its early stages, the Rural Emergency Plan (REP) has gained a great deal of interest among Alberta landowners since the pilot version of the program was first tested in 2007. The program is built on a strong foundation of landowner participation, with participants encouraged to build their own storage tubes in which to store their REPs.
However, these REP tubes may represent a good fundraising opportunity for groups that wish to build and sell them. If your group is interested, here is what you need to know.
There's a plan
The REP program has been developed and tested by the Alberta Environmental Farm Plan Company (AEFP) and the Alberta Fire Chiefs Association (AFCA). REP guidelines, including production guidelines, are available on the AEFP Web site at www.AlbertaEFP.com or from local fire chiefs across the province.
Although REP tubes are easy to make and are constructed with materials available at most hardware or building supply stores, AEFP and AFCA have developed a list of standards for best results:
- They should be constructed with two inch ABS DWV pipe approximately 14 inches long.
- A two inch ABS DWV cap slip on one end and glued with ABS glue.
- A two inch ABS DWV Adaptor FIP should be glued on the other end and threaded plug inserted.
- A three inch length of ABS pipe should be partially cut to be used as a mounting bracket; drill two holes for mounting screws.
- Tubes should be made visible with reflective orange strip for night-time visibility.
How to proceed
The pricing and marketing of REP tubes is being left up to participating groups in conjunction with their local fire department. To inquire about fundraising opportunities with REP, contact your local fire department.