Hurricane Dorian is one of the most recent storms that created massive devastation within the west of the Atlantic Ocean. It struck the Bahamas and other neighboring islands and also made its impact on the mainland US. This session will discuss disaster preparedness and response, particularly for animal emergency response, through our experience with Hurricane Dorian.
Diane Robinson is back on Justice Clearinghouse as a resource speaker. She is the Program Manager for the Disaster Services for the Humane Society of the United States. One of the highlights of her service is the development of the Basic Animal Emergency Services student guide and the curriculum for Disaster Sheltering for Companion Animals.
Topics tackled on this course are:
- An overview of the 2019 hurricane season, the path Dorian took, and its development from a tropical wave to category 5 hurricane.
- The impact of hurricane Dorian
- In North Carolina where the storm surge cut off communities from the rest which affected efforts to rescue and get resources to these areas.
- In the Bahamas, where parts of the islands were washed over, completely changing the landscape and the infrastructures obstructing transportation and the provision of services.
- A look into what went well in the US during Dorian
- The fact that the mainland was spared as Dorian’s strength, speed, and direction changed.
- The states and their agencies’ ability to respond accordingly as they took the threat of the storm seriously.
- Better planning and preparation that utilized the lessons and experiences from previous disasters and leveraged collaborations between agencies and communities.
- Understanding hurricane scales and the conversations surrounding redefining the categorization to more accurately forecast potential impact as well as rescue and response efforts.
- The three major factors that determine the need for rescue and resources in case of a disaster.
- Hypotheticals that examine the impact of Dorian if it struck North and South Carolina Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, and Florida.
- A rundown of the top ten costliest hurricanes in the US and the cost of the damage it brought.
- The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act that includes animals pets in disaster response protocols.
- Points to consider when developing a disaster plan.
- The four phases of a comprehensive disaster plan.
- The various stakeholders that must be involved in the planning
- The logistics involved in evacuating, rescuing, and sheltering both humans and animals.
- The community’s disaster history.
Things raised during the Q&A are:
- What Memorandum of Understanding and Mutual Aid Agreements are.
- Changes brought by COVID that may impact disaster planning and response for the upcoming hurricane season.
- Getting started on disaster planning.
- Coordination between national and local agencies for response and rescue.
- Common mistakes pet owners and agencies commit that may endanger them during a disaster
Resources and Handouts
- FEMA Incident Command Structure
- National Alliance of State Animal and Agricultural Emergency Program
- The National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition
- The Humane Society of the United States Disaster Relife Resources
- National Animal Control Association
- FEMA Resource Typing Library – An online catalogue of national resource typing definitions, position qualifications and Position Task Books (PTBs) provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Integration Center (NIC).
- USDA Livestock Preparedness Fact Sheet
- “Great tips from speaker with insight – she knows the animal lovers aren’t leaving without their 4-legged family members and they’ll die trying to rescue them. Good bullet-point slides and pictures. Monetary total – staggering!” — Roseann
- “That both people and animals need to have a plan including livestock and horses.” — c
- “Impacts of storms over the decades and their rankings in terms of damage was the most valuable.” –K
- “All of it was great and very interesting.” — Kimberly
- “The author appeared to be very well versed in her subject matter. Well done!” — Kim
- “Excellent presentation.” — Robert