There is no end to what can be accomplished by people who don't care who gets the credit.
There are several ways you can help during emergencies and disasters depending on your time, availability to train, and physical abilities. Regardless of your age and skills, there is always a place for a trained, informed, and ready volunteer.
Find out if your region has a Community Animal Response Team, (CART), an Animal Disaster Service Response Team, (DART), or, other recognized volunteer response group. For information about joining or starting a community Animal Emergency Response Team, check with your county's Office of Emergency Services (OES), and/or, local animal welfare organizations. Click here for a list of the HALTER Project's community partners.
To volunteer during an emergency or disaster, there are certain requirements that must be met, regardless of your role. Most often, basic minimum preparation will include completion of FEMA ICS 100, 200, and 700. These free FEMA online courses can be completed at your own pace.
Other frequently required courses are FEMA IS-10.A Animals in Disasters: Awareness and Preparedness and FEMA IS-111.A “Livestock in Disasters”.
Understanding the Incident Command System, (ICS), is a requirement of every volunteer group that aids local, state, and federal agencies. "Self-deployed", spontaneous, or convergent volunteers, while eager to help, are often counterproductive to efficient rescue efforts and can put first responders, animals, and themselves at great risk. If you are not a trained volunteer, but have skills and would like to help, contact the official animal response resource to volunteer during a disaster. You will be assigned a role and receive “just in time training” to help you help help others.
If your county has a “Volunteer Center”, or volunteer registration portal, sign up now so you’ll be in the system. This can make it faster and easier for you find ways to help in emergencies, if you’re not a member of a response group.
You can also become a volunteer firefighter with an agency that has an animal technical rescue team.
COMMUNITY PROJECT IDEA...
EQUIP A SAFETY SHED OR EMERGENCY TRAILER
Every rural neighborhood should have a cache of equipment ready to go and stored in an accessible safety shed or small trailer. Service organizations, businesses, and individuals can join forces to sponsor a trailer or safety shed. Use our examples below, or create your own.
Choose your Sponsorship level. Then, select the fire agency in your neighborhood, or Sonoma County Animal Services, to donate to their Animal Technical Rescue Fund. You will receive community recognition on our website and newsletter.