Do you have questions about how state and regional disaster animal response teams operate? Would you like to know how you could qualify as a trained volunteer to help animals in YOUR community and beyond during times of crisis? The Vermont Disaster Animal Response Team (VDART) is pleased to announce a new free, self-paced introductory webinar, Volunteering for Your State Disaster Animal Response Team, which can be completed in the comfort of your own home in less than an hour!
On March 14th the Vermont Disaster Animal Response Team’s (VDART’s) Board of Directors voted to adopt Vermont Alert (VTAlert) as its official
emergency notification system. The system can issue alerts about pending disasters, weather conditions, traffic and road issues, public health notifications, and countless other issues or events that could affect Vermonters or their loved ones. VTAlert is based on the belief that a major key to preparedness is having up-to-date information.
This web-based system, which is hosted and maintained by the Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, provides a portal by which information can be disseminated by state and local authorities to the public, including schools and colleges, state, local, and federal government, and first responders. The system will not only allow us to activate our volunteers for real-life emergencies, but also for drills and training exercises.
VDART will be requiring all of its volunteers to register for this free service at http://vtalert.gov. This will allow them to sign up for and receive notifications through a number of delivery systems such as text, e-mail, telephone, or game console. Users will create accounts, chose their local area, select what types of alerts they wish to receive, and identify which delivery system they wish to use to receive those notifications.
“We’re tremendously excited about the possibilities that this notification system holds for our trained animal responders here in Vermont,” said VDART board chair Joanne Bourbeau. “By working in cooperation with state officials and other response agencies, we will be better poised to respond quickly and effectively across the state to assist with animal needs in the face of disaster.”
The Vermont Disaster Animal Response Team (VDART) is excited to announce the recent formation of 2 additional chartered regional response teams to cover 3 additional counties:
Planning ahead and preparing for a disaster before it strikes is very important to your pet’s safety and well-being. Here is a list of things you can do today:
Historically, emergency shelters have not accepted pets due to health and safety regulations, the exception being service animals.
The American Red Cross (ARC) has recently been faced with residents lining up at shelters with their pets when the shelter has not been designated as a “pet friendly” shelter. The first incident occurred during the December 2013 ice storm. A more recent event involved a gas leak and subsequent fire in St. Albans. Residents that had evacuated showed up at the ARC shelter with their pets. [Read more…]
In preparation for a true emergency or disaster, where residents must evacuate their home with their pets, the Vermont Disaster Animal Response Team recently hosted two trainings for potential volunteers interested in helping with emergency pet sheltering needs. [Read more…]