Hurricane Dorian: How to get and offer help for animals and shelters

Published: August 29th, 2019

Category: Blog, Featured, News

 

Hurricane Dorian is heading for the East Coast, with Florida likely to be hit. Currently landfall is expected on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. We will update this post, including with available grant assistance, as conditions change and new needs and resources emerge.

Updated as of Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at 4:08 pm: Forecast map. Recent information for organizations and Florida organizations requesting evacuation is also marked in red.

The Florida State Agricultural Response Team (FLSART) is assessing the impact of Hurricane Dorian and will be matching up offers of resources with the most critical needs. Coordinating through the official statewide response system will reduce duplication and unmet needs.

If you believe it’s possible that you’ll need to evacuate animals, start putting that together now. Often organizations wait until it’s too late to get their animals out. If you are a Florida animal shelter and may need to evacuate or other hurricane-related assistance, email Cameron Moore at cameron.moore@ufl.edu or call her at 904-422-4773.

If the storm makes it impossible for you to email or call, you may still be able to contact us via Facebook. Visit our Facebook page and use the “Send Message” button at the top.

NEW: This is the information we will need from shelters requesting help with evacuation:

  • Shelter name:
  • Shelter point of contact name:
  • Shelter point of contact email:
  • Shelter point of contact cell:
  • City and county:
  • Number of dogs currently in shelter:
  • Number of dogs that are transportable (healthy, adoptable):
  • Number of cats currently in shelter:
  • Number of cats that are transportable (healthy, adoptable):
  • Is electronic inventory available:
  • Is there a specific receiving shelter preferred:
  • Is transportation needed:
  • Is mission request submited to county EOC:
  • What is the level of urgency:
  • Comments:

If your animal welfare organization needs assistance with supplies, equipment, vet care, animal rescue, etc., there are two steps to follow:

  • Register your mission request with your county EOC. This is the only way to access state resources and for your organization and county to apply for FEMA reimbursement. You can find your local EOC contact number at https://flsart.org/jsp/county/; Look for the ESF17 contacts. It’s important not to skip this step, even if you are arranging help on your own. Documenting a record of disaster response needs will draw attention to the need to plan for animal needs in the future.

Concurrently, submit your request to FLSART at rescue@flsarc.org. This is the official statewide resource coordinator for offers and requests for assistance. They can only help, however, if the requests are made through official channels. There are a lot of resources and help ready to deploy, so don’t be shy about asking for what you need.

If you’re one of the many organizations wanting to help, thank you! If you are offering resources (time, products, transport, receiving shelter space, etc.), please register them at rescue@flsarc.org. That is the fastest way to match offers with the shelters that need help without duplicating efforts or leaving any needs unmet.

When you send offers to rescue@flsarc.org, please be as specific as you can to reduce the communication load:

  1. Product donation: Specific product, quantity, palletization, transport availability, offloading needs (e.g. forklift), storage requirements, timeline for delivery.
  2. Animal transport: drivers, distance range, capacity, timeline, vehicle type, crates
  3. Animal receiving: capacity, flexibility, timeline, transportation, crates, health certificate needs
  4. Detailed point of contact info for decision-maker regarding offer
  5. NEW: As Hurricane Dorian approaches the Florida coast, there is a need for Florida shelters to decrease their existing populations to make space for incoming animals displaced by the storm. If your organization has the desire and capacity to intake a large-scale transport (25+ animals), a Google Doc form has been created to capture details from animal organizations wishing to receive animals before as well as after the storm hits. Air transports are being coordinated based on flight availability and airports. If your organization is interested, please complete all the required fields. Register here if you have capacity to intake 25+ animals.

This is an evolving situation, so please be flexible, patient, and work within the system. And thank you to all who are offering help!

For additional information applicable to all locations and all types of disaster, please review Dr. Julie Levy’s tips here.

Update: Guidance for organizations bringing animals to the U.S. from the Bahamas