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Hurricane Harvey Disaster Response Update

Tuesday, September 5, 2017  
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The Arizona Veterinary Medical Association would like to share important information with you about Hurricane Harvey disaster response.  The key organizations and agencies responsible for that response in Texas have expressed gratitude for the outpouring of offers to help, and would like the veterinary community to know the following:

 

1.      Don’t self-deploy!

While the good intentions are appreciated, a systematic response is essential for effective, efficient progress of response and recovery efforts.  Self-deploying volunteers can actually complicate and add to the work of local emergency management officials.  Please do not enter a disaster-stricken area unless you are part of an organized response team with authorized access.

 

2.      Future volunteer work is possible

The agencies tasked with response and recovery will identify needs for volunteers, and those volunteers will be coordinated through the incident management system.  If you are interested in volunteering time to aid recovery efforts you should register now with the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (www.nvoad.org) and then await word on how and where your efforts can help.  The Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners has applications available for Temporary Emergency Licenses for out-of-state veterinarians who expect to deploy in Texas.  To facilitate supporting future incidents, veterinarians may want to consider joining and training with a veterinary medical emergency response team, such as a state veterinary medical reserve corps or local Medical Reserve Corps programs (https://mrc.hhs.gov).

 

3.      Donate if you can

Emergency officials say the best way to help at present is to donate to reputable organizations that will funnel the right aid to the people who need it.  You might consider these:

·    American Veterinary Medical Foundation www.avmf.org

·    Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation www.texvetpets.org

·    Houston SPCA www.houstonspca.org

·    SPCA of Texas www.spca.org

 

4.      Stay informed

The American Veterinary Medical Association has created a special website page (www.avma.org) covering Hurricane Harvey information for veterinarians, including how AVMA member veterinarians participating in rescue and emergency care related to Hurricane Harvey may apply for reimbursement grants through the AVMF. 


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