The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has a new public awareness campaign, aimed at educating the public on the importance of reporting suspicious activity to state and local law enforcement authorities. The campaign — “If You See Something, Say Something” — encourages citizens to work together to build a strong foundation to increase security.

That strategy also applies to farming and pork production, as remaining vigilant keeps employees, animals and facilities safe. “One of the more important things producers can do is to pay attention to their surroundings,” says Cindy Cunningham, NPB assistant vice president of communications. “That includes traffic on the road near your farms, paying attention to who is calling and asking questions about your farm and thoroughly checking backgrounds of potential new employees.”

If something seems or feels out-of-the-ordinary or not-quite-right, follow your instinct and investigate further. “An emergency action plan is a vital tool that plays an important role in security,” Cunningham says. Each production site should have a plan and employees should know what it entails. If you need help to develop an emergency plan, you can access NPB’s tool at http://tinyurl.com/3pj64v5.

It will walk you through the process of building a customized emergency action plan, and once completed, you will be able to print hard copies, as well as save an electronic copy. To comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations, an employer must have a printed copy of an emergency action plan readily accessible to all employees. If 10 employees or less are employed, the emergency plan can be reviewed orally, but thorough training for everyone involved with your operation is key.

An emergency action plan also can assist if extreme weather, fire, theft, vandalism or foreign animal disease should hit your operation.

You can find DHS radio and television public service announcements at http://tinyurl.com/6jec7pv. They present scenarios involving suspicious activity and how to notify authorities regarding potential threats. There’s also a “If You See Something, Say Something” public awareness video. These tools would be good to present during an employee meeting, as the agricultural and food sectors remain possible targets.