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AVMA's Harvey Disaster Response Update

Tuesday, August 29, 2017  
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Many of our members and partners across the profession have reached out to us asking how they can help assist the people of Texas and surrounding areas and their animals as they continue to struggle with the devastating effects caused by Hurricane Harvey.

 

It is uplifting that our national community is coming together in the face of this disaster.

 

The AVMA is here to help disseminate information and ensure an immediate and helpful response.

 

The AVMA is in constant contact with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and other federal entities so that we can be most helpful by getting information to the right people.

 

We also are working with the Texas Veterinary Medical Association and the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association, and will be reaching out to the veterinary schools in both states to provide whatever information, guidance and assistance they may need.

 

Many organizations, companies and partners in the animal health industry have communicated to us their commitment to help those in need, including hotline assistance and in-kind products. AVMA will be launching a web page tomorrow with a list of these companies along with pertinent contact information for support.  This page will be updated as new information is received.

 

Additionally, many veterinarians in the communities currently affected are providing their time and emergency services. To support these veterinarians, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) is providing reimbursement grants to help AVMA veterinarians provide care to the animals affected by the storm. If you are a veterinarian currently participating in rescue and emergency care or the temporary boarding of animals, you may apply for disaster reimbursement grants through the AVMF website.

 

If you would like to support these disaster reimbursement grants, you may donate to the AVMF using the code Disaster Relief when completing the donation form. Questions about how you can help may be submitted to disastergrant@avma.org.

 

The AVMA PLIT is also actively assisting AVMA members. PLIT representatives reached out to approximately 700 practices prior to the storm to provide early guidance on how to deal with potential damages and claims. PLIT’s carrier, Hartford Insurance, has catastrophe teams staged in San Antonio, as well as mobile claims offices ready to deploy to the area as soon as they are able.

 

If you need to file a property claim, please call Hartford at 800-553-1710 or submit your claim online here.

 

The National Weather Service has said this storm is “beyond anything experienced before.” Texas reports more than 600,000 people under mandatory evacuation, with another 1 million under voluntary evacuation.

 

Some projections indicate that certain locations could receive up to 50 inches of rain when the storm finally ends.

 

The Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine is assisting both people and animals affected by the storm. You can learn more by visiting their Facebook page.

The Texas Animal Health Commission has compiled a list of facilities accepting animals for holding/sheltering during the flooding related to Harvey. The list is not comprehensive, and some locations may not have space availability, nor may all locations be accepting all species, so please call ahead. In addition, call 2-1-1 if you are seeking a large or small animal shelter or holding facility in an area that is not listed, or contact the emergency management department in the area. 

Several national animal rescue and sheltering coalition members have boats and teams ready to assist. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums reports several facilities with exotic animals that will need to be evacuated and are currently working with local volunteers to make this happen.

 

The state of Texas has begun to set up a Pet Support Task Force to provide assistance for the state Emergency Operations Center. The American Red Cross is indicating that they are planning on shelter populations upwards of 30,000 people, but there is growing concern that there may be a considerable lack of animal/pet-friendly shelters.

 

Please be sure to visit the AVMA’s website tomorrow for more information about the storm, its affects and what the veterinary community is doing to help.

 

Sincerely,

 

Dr. Michael Topper

AVMA President

 

Dr. Janet Donlin

AVMA Chief Executive Officer


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