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Executive Order 10998—Assigning Emergency Preparedness Functions to the Secretary of Agriculture

February 16, 1962

By virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, including authority vested in me by Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1958 (72 Stat. 1799), it is hereby ordered as follows:

SECTION 1. Scope. The Secretary of Agriculture (hereinafter referred to as the Secretary) shall prepare national emergency plans and develop preparedness programs covering: Food resources, farm equipment, fertilizer, and food resource facilities, as defined below; rural fire control; defense against biological warfare, chemical warfare, and radiological fallout pertaining to agricultural activities; and rural defense information and education. These plans and programs shall be designed to develop a state of readiness in these areas with respect to all conditions of national emergency, including attack upon the United States.

SEC. 2. ( Definitions. As used in this order:

(a) "Food resources" means all commodities and products, simple, mixed or compound, or complements to such commodities or products, that are capable of being eaten or drunk, by either human beings or animals' irrespective of other uses to which such commodities or products may be. put, at all stages of processing from the raw commodity to the products thereof in vendible form for human or animal consumption. For the purposes of this order the term "food resources" shall also include all starches, sugars, vegetable and animal fats and oils, cotton, tobacco, wool, mohair, hemp, flax fiber, and naval stores, but shall not include any such material after it loses its identity as an agricultural commodity or agricultural product.

(b) "Farm equipment" means machinery, equipment and repair parts manufactured primarily for use on farms in connection with the production or preparation for market or use of "food resources."

(c) "Fertilizer" means any product or combination of products for plant nutrition in form for distribution to the users thereof.

(d) "Food resource facilities" means plants, machinery, vehicles (including on farm) and other facilities for the production, processing, distribution and storage (including cold storage) of food resources, and for domestic distribution of farm equipment and fertilizer.

SEC. 3. Food Function. With respect to food resources, food resource facilities, farm equipment, and fertilizer the Secretary shall:

(a) Resources. Periodically assess assigned resources available from all sources in order to estimate availability under an emergency situation, analyze resource estimates in relation to estimated requirements in order to identify problem areas, and develop appropriate recommendations and programs including those necessary for the maintenance of an adequate mobilization base. Provide data and assistance before and after attack for national resource evaluation purposes of the Office of Emergency Planning.

(b) Requirements. Periodically assemble, develop as appropriate, and evaluate requirements for assigned resources and service, taking into account the estimated needs for military, civilian, and foreign purposes. Such evaluation shall take into consideration the geographical distribution of requirements under emergency conditions.

(c) Priorities and allocations. Develop priorities, allocations and distribution control systems and related plans to insure that available food resources are properly apportioned among and distributed to civilian, military and foreign claimants in an emergency and develop priorities, allocations and distribution control systems and related plans for the domestic distribution of farm equipment and fertilizer.

(d) Production and processing. Develop control systems and related plans including control of use of facilities designed to provide adequate and continuing production, processing and storage of essential food resources in an emergency.

(e) Salvage and rehabilitation. Develop plans for salvage of food resources after determination by proper authorities having the responsibility for this function, of their safety for human or animal consumption and develop plans for the rehabilitation of food resource facilities after attack.

(f) Economic stabilization. Cooperate with the Office of Emergency Planning in the development of stabilization policies as they might affect agricultural production, processing, distribution, and storage, and in tile development of policies for consumer rationing of food resources.

(g) Financial aid. Develop plans and procedures for financial and credit assistance for farmers who might need such assistance under various mobilization conditions, and provide assistance to food industries in obtaining necessry financing and credit in an emergency.

SEC. 4. Cooperation with Department of Defense. In consonance with national civil defense plans, programs and operations of the Department of Defense, under Executive Order No. 10952, the Secretary shall:

(a) Facilities protection. Provide industry protection guidance materials adapted to the needs of assigned food resources facilities and promote a national program to stimulate disaster preparedness and control in order to minimize the effects of overt or covert attack, and to maintain continuity of production and capacity to serve essential users in an emergency. Guidance shall include, but not be limited to, organizing and training facility personnel shelter, evacuation plans, records protection, continuity of management, emergency repair, deconcentration or dispersal of facilities, and industrial mutual :lid associations for an emergency.

(b) Rural fire functions. In cooperation with Federal, State and local agencies, develop plans for a national program and direct activities in relationship to the prevention and control of fires in the rural areas in the United States caused by the effects of enemy attack.

(c) Biological, chemical, and radiological warfare defense functions. Develop plans for a national program, direct Federal activities, and furnish technical guidance to State and local authorities concerning (1) diagnosis and strengthening of defensive barriers and control or eradication of diseases, pests, or chemicals introduced as agents of biological or chemical warfare against animals, crops or products thereof; (2) protective measures, treatment and handling of livestock, including poultry, agricultural commodities on farms or ranches, agricultural lands, forest lands, and water for agricultural purposes, any of which have been exposed to or affected by radiation. Plans shall be developed for a national program and direction of Federal activities to assure the safety and wholesomeness and to minimize losses from biological and chemical warfare radiological effects, and other emergency hazards of livestock, meat and meat products, poultry and poultry products in establishments under the continuous inspection of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and agricultural commodities and products owned by the Commodity Credit Corporation or by the Secretary.

(d) Rural defense information and education. Conduct a rural defense information and education program to advise farmers that they will have a responsibility to produce food of the kind and quantity needed in an emergency and shall work with farmers and others in rural areas to reduce the vulnerability of hollies, crops, livestock, and forests, to either overt or covert attack.

(e) Damage assessment. Maintain a capability to assess the effects of attack on assigned resource areas and departmental installations, both at national and field levels, and provide data to the Department of Defense.

SEC. 5. Claimancy. The Secretary shall prepare plans to claim materials, manpower, equipment, supplies and services which would be needed to carry out assigned responsibilities and other essential functions of the Department from the appropriate agency and work with such agencies in developing programs to insure availability of such resources Ill an emergency.

SEC. 6. Stockpiles. The Secretary shall assist the Office of Emergency Planning in formulating and carrying out plans for stockpiling strategic and critical materials. In the administration of Commodity Credit Corporation inventories of food resources shall take all possible measures to assure the availability of such inventories when and where needed in an emergency. The secretary shall also develop plans and procedures for the proper utilization of agriculture items stockpiled for survival purposes.

SEC. 7. National Program Guidance. The Secretary shall provide technical guidance to State and local governments to the end that all planning concerned with functions assigned herein will be effectively coordinated. He shall also maintain relations with the appropriate industries to foster mutual understanding of Federal emergency plans.

SEC. 8. Research. Within the framework of over-all Federal research objectives, the Secretary shall supervise or conduct research directly concerned with carrying out emergency preparedness responsibilities, designate representatives for necessary ad hoc or task force groups' and provide advice and assistance to other agencies in planning for research in areas involving the interests of the Department of Agriculture.

SEC. 9. Functional Guidance. The Secretary, in carrying out the functions assigned in this order, shall be guided by the following:

(a) Interagency cooperation. The Secretary shall assume the initiative in developing joint plans for the coordination of emergency food resources of those departments and agencies which have the responsibility for any segment of such activities. He shall utilize to the maximum those capabilities of other agencies qualified to perform or assist in the performance of assigned functions by contractual or other agreements.

(b) Presidential coordination. The Director of the Office of Emergency Planning shall advise and assist the President in determining policy for, and assist him in coordinating the performance of functions under this order with the total national preparedness program.

(c) Emergency planning. Emergency plans and programs and emergency or organization structure required thereby, shall be developed as an integral part of the continuing activities of the Department of Agriculture and the basis that it will have the responsibility for carrying out such programs during an emergency. The Secretary shall be prepared to implement all appropriate plans developed under this order. Modifications and-temporary organizational changes, based on emergency conditions, will be in accordance with policy determination by the President.

SEC. 10. Emergency Functions. Nothing in this order shall be construed as conferring authority under Title III of the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950, as amended, or otherwise, to put into effect any emergency plan, procedure, policy, program, or course of action prepared or developed pursuant to this order. Such authority is reserved to the President.

SEC. 11. Redelegation. The Secretary is hereby authorized to redelegate within the Department of Agriculture the functions hereinabove assigned to him.

SEC. 12. Prior Actions. To the extent of any inconsistency between the provisions of ,any prior order and the provisions of this order, the latter shall control. Emergency Preparedness Order No. 1 (hereto issued by the Director, Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization) (26 F.R. 651-652). is hereby revoked.

February 16, 1962

John F. Kennedy, Executive Order 10998—Assigning Emergency Preparedness Functions to the Secretary of Agriculture Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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