I learned what NOT to do the hard way during a disaster in Western KS in 2007.  From there, we developed the KS State Animal Response Team so that we never again have to say that we weren’t prepared.  Yes, we’ll always have things that we could have done differently or better….but never again, will we say that we weren’t prepared.   I’m so proud of this team and each and every exercise leaves me energized and excited.”
–  Christen L. Skaer, DVM

Who is the Animal Response Team Coalition of Kansas?

The State Animal Response Team Coalition of Kansas is a network of trained volunteers dedicated to providing temporary shelter and care for animals displaced by a disaster.  The umbrella organization, the Kansas State Animal Response Team, is a collaborative effort of various animal and response related organizations working together as a board of directors to provide guidelines, training and support to the development of the seven regional/local teams.

Preparation – the action or process of making ready or being made ready. 

Disaster – a sudden event that seriously disrupts the functioning of a community or society and causes great damage or loss of life.  

Response – to meet the basic needs of others (human or animal) until a more permanent and sustainable solution can be found. 

Are you ready to train with the Animal Response Team Coalition of Kansas?

This is not just another activity competing for time out of your busy life, but an incredible opportunity for DVMs and RVTs to experience animal disaster response in a weekend!  Let’s be realistic, is there really a disaster response that is not going to include animals?  The 2012 AVMA sourcebook estimated that 56% of households have pets or approximately 66.5 million households.  Veterinary medicine is critical to mitigating animal health issues and ensuring pets are provided proper care while being housed in temporary animal shelters.

The 2016 Kansas Animal Response Exercise  is a time for hands-on training of specific response skill sets and an opportunity to put your skills to practice in a simulated disaster response at Crisis City, October 14-16, 2016.  Crisis City is a fully functional training complex operated by the Ks Division of Emergency Management designed for local, state and federal responder training of professionals, volunteers, public and private industry and civil military operations.

oklawntornadocouplewithdogSaturday’s “ALL Hands on Deck” functional workshop will provide several training blocks covering subjects such as Small Animal Sheltering, Large Animal Handling, Veterinary Response, ICS Staffing, and Field Work.  Within each block several hands-on sessions will be offered to provide training on specific skill sets.  The veterinary training block will include sessions such as companion animal shelter medicine, field medicine, large animal medicine, veterinary preparedness and more.  Veterinarians and registered vet technicians are encouraged to also participate in sessions within other training blocks.

On Sunday a 4-hour animal disaster response exercise, “The ART of Disaster Response”, will take place and animal response volunteers can put to practice the skills learned on Saturday.   Sunday morning additional people will arrive to role play as disaster victims with pets, or to perform the task of exercise evaluator, and responders from other response agencies will also participate in order to test their resources and capabilities.

***********BEGIN TEST***************  Saturday evening the weather reports are warning of possible severe weather over night, but the warning is not for your county so you go to bed.  Sunday morning at 3am you awaken to the sound of thunderstorms and at 7:30 you receive a text message:   “Animal Response Volunteers Needed!  Click HERE to provide availability details.”  

This is it!  This is what you have trained for!  You receive confirmation and your deployment instructions.  You grab your Go-Bag and you are out the door!  *******END TEST**************

Don’t be left behind!  Get involved!  Get trained!  Get your hands dirty at the 2016 Kansas Animal Response Exercise!  Sign up for updates from the Kansas State Animal Response Team at kssart.org.  Registration opens in August and space is limited!

Pets are the #1 reason people will NOT evacuate in a disaster!