Give serious thought to emergency preparedness and physical security on your farm. With just a little preplanning on your part, emergency responders can access information that will allow them to quickly, efficiently, and effectively deal with any emergency on your farm. But the efficiency of their response depends on the information that you make available to them: generally, the more, the better.

Quite simply, responders need to know what's there, what it can do to them, what they can do to reduce the risk, and how they can minimize further damage to your assets. The more information they have, the quicker they will be able to effectively reduce the risk to you, your family, your property, and your community.

Because of the potential danger posed by extremists and terrorists, farm security issues are of concern to farmers, agricultural associations, law enforcement officials, and federal agencies such as the United States Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Farm security awareness and education are critical components of our overall effort to shield the farm against criminal intent.

There are viable economic reasons for farmers to plan for emergencies and exercise measures to curb criminal activity on the farm. Heeding recommendations in this publication will reduce your vulnerability, and the implementation of security measures to minimize your risk might also reduce your insurance premiums.

You've invested untold time and energy to make your farm profitable, so make a commitment to increase your margin of safety. Making a few modifications and planning for what could or might happen will guard the safety and future of your biggest assets of all: your family, your friends, and your farm.