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Live Webinar on animal care and emergency support function during disasters

Published on 4 May 2010
Community Preparedness Webinar Series will supplement visitors with information on Animal Care and Emergency Support Function
Webinar will be in two phases meant for animal care and preparedness during disasters 

Community Preparedness Webinar Series, an initiative of FEMA, features new community preparedness topics several times each month and is free to the public.

FEMA’s Individual & Community Preparedness Division organised a two part installment of the Community Preparedness Webinar Series in honor of National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day on May 8th: "The Community’s Role in Preparing and Planning For Animals, and Animal Care and Emergency Support Function (ESF) 11:  Tools and Resources from USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)."

The Community Preparedness Webinar Series provided up-to-date information on community preparedness topics and resources available to citizens, community organizations, and Citizen Corps Councils. The first part of this LIVE webinar was scheduled for Monday, May 3rd at 2:00 EDT and provided information about preparing your animals for disasters and engaging the community in animal preparedness. The second part of the LIVE webinar discussed the important role USDA APHIS plays for ESF-11 Animal Care and resources which can assist in planning efforts. A question and answer period followed the presentation. 

May 8th, 2010 is National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day. Pets are an integral part of American society and economy; more than half of households in the United States include pets. During times of disaster, people will risk their lives and the lives of others to save pets. For these reasons, it is critical that individuals have the “know how” to properly prepare themselves and their animals for disasters to save both human and animal lives. 

Equally important to government roles, individuals need to take personal responsibility for the well being of their family and their community, including their animals. Tracey Stevens Martin, from the University of California Davis International Animal Welfare Training Institute, discussed how to prepare pets and animals for disasters and methods for engaging the community in animal emergency planning. 

The webinar was aimed at preparing participants in animal care and training pets for disasters

Following Tracey Stevens Martin, Dr. Allan Hogue from USDA APHIS discussed how their organization works in close collaboration with Federal agencies, State officials, and non-governmental organizations to support animal disaster planning and ESF 11. After Hurricane Katrina, Congress passed the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act and the Post-Katrina Emergency Response Act (PKEMRA) in response to public outcry about the safety and well-being of pet animals during disasters. 

In 2008, the National Response Framework (NRF) redefined Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) and added responsibilities for pets under the Federal ESF system. USDA APHIS and other federal agencies provide assistance for emergency planning and response. While Federal statutes mandate that the Federal Emergency Response Agency (FEMA) has overall authority to support pet issues, additional Federal agencies, including USDA APHIS, have supporting roles defined under the NRF. USDA APHIS provides technical expertise in the management of pets and animals in disasters.  

The Community Preparedness Webinar Series features new community preparedness topics several times each month and is free to the public. Each webinar will accommodate the first 500 visitors that enter the website at the time of the webinar. In addition to airing live, the webinar will be recorded and viewable at your convenience on the Citizen Corps website usually within 24 hours after the live webcast. To join the webinar live simply go to the following link click on the button on the upper right side of the page that says "Join the Webinar". The button will be live 10 minutes prior to the start of the webinar. Sign in as a guest.

More details on upcoming webinars in the Community Preparedness Webinar Series are available at the following link.

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