Kansas State Animal Response Team Newsletter
First Quarter - 2013


Happy Spring everyone!  We hope you've had a wonderful year so far.  The KS SART Board of Directors has been working hard to make sure that this organization remains strong and you all get the help you need to build your teams.  We recently had our strategic planning meeting for 2013.  I'm so proud of the members of our Board and I know you will be too!  We've established "long term" goals (for the next 5 years).  Some of them include 1) Increasing our species capabilities 2) Statewide exercises for animal responders 3) Templates for sheltering and 4) Improving our personnel/team structures....just to name a few!  As always, we'd love to hear from you!  If you have ideas, comments or need help, you're welcome to give me a shout at clskaer@aol.com.  
We are all looking forward to our annual meeting in July.  This year, we've combined with other groups involved in disaster response to allow us to get the word out to more people.  Please make a point of attending if you can!  It's time to make sure your group has their core requirements done if they'd like to do disaster response.  We will only be deploying those who've completed their training.  We also have plans to offer that training at our conference so help us get the word out please!
Thank you as always for your hard work and dedication.   You are the reason this group is successful and we are eternally grateful.  I'm honored to work with all of you.

Christen L. Skaer, DVM
President, KS State Animal Response Team



Each winter, an annual preparedness goal will be announced.  The focus, a project each team will be encouraged to complete before the coming spring storm season. This shared goal will challenge us, as individual teams and collectively as a network of animal response teams, to evaluate our level of preparedness and continue to develop our overall response capabilities.

The 2013 project is to update the state-wide volunteer database with all current animal response team volunteers’ information, including accurate contact information and transfer of historical training data.   A great first project, that depends on individual team participation and KS SART support to reach our goal.  The volunteer database is key to quickly and easily identifying all disaster responder volunteers, by county and/or by regional teams.

This project has been underway since mid-January due to the hard work of your regional database administrators!  Several took time to attend a four-hour technical training session, in person, and continue to work toward completing the initial volunteer database update.  Thanks to our database administrators:  Janet Hackney, Shannon Mongeau, Leann Moore, Arlene Riek, Darlene Rose, Sue Rosenshein,
Jodi Tronsgard, Glenna Walker!  



A great opportunity to build your regional network, get acquainted with your regional teammates, personally test your disaster responder training and test your response plan, is to conduct a regional exercise.  The challenge, schedule and execute at a regional level, some variation of a deployment exercise this year.  Start small and focus on one process or try a couple of processes, dividing the team in half, test and then share the results as a full team, including the impact felt by each process as a result of how the other processes were executed.  Another idea is to simply walk through the shelter operation, in theory without using equipment, to discuss the basic flow and major tasks to be accomplished with each process and how those processes are interdependent. 

Not sure where or how to get started, that is okay because this is an exercise and the goal is to make us think through what transpires in a disaster situation, what we do well and what we need to work on.  For ideas, suggestions or help planning an exercise contact Kelly Benton.  Be ready to share your experiences, a report from each region will be requested for either the third or fourth quarter newsletter!


KS SART would like to participate in regional meetings, so Kelly Benton will try to attend at least one of your team meetings each year.  This is an opportunity to connect with all teams, provide state updates, answer your questions and hear your concerns.  If there are specific items your team wishes to have addressed, just let Kelly know.  She will contact you to coordinate a visit soon. 
Networking is vital to sharing information across teams and when reaching out to find new participants.  If you have contacts outside your regional area who could be interested in animal response, please encourage them to contact their regional team.  If you are not sure who they should contact, go to:  

http://www.kssart.org/response_teams/county_response_team/.  Also, consider others in your own region when you prepare for a regional meeting and invite new people from counties that might not yet be involved.  


The KS SART board, following Red Cross guidelines of renewing/certifying volunteers on Human First Aid every two years, has approved the application of the same guidelines for Psychological First Aid and Pet First Aid. Beginning in 2013, disaster responder volunteers will be required to take Human First Aid, Psychological First Aid and Pet First Aid every two years, based on the last time the course was recorded as taken by a volunteer.  If you would like to know your training records officially on file in the volunteer database, contact your regional database administrator for a report.


Mark your calendars because you don’t want to miss this year’s conference!!  KSSART is teaming up with Medical Reserve Corps, Citizen Corps, Kansas Department of Emergency Management and other VOAD (volunteer organizations active in disasters) to hold an all inclusive Kansas Preparedness Summit.   The conference is set for Friday and Saturday, July 26 and 27 in Wichita.  More information will be available soon at www.kssart.org.


THANK YOU, for your time and commitment to the animal response teams of Kansas!  What an incredible organization of caring and dedicated individuals!!  In honor of national volunteer appreciation week,
April 21-27, 2013, you should know:



A suggestion, from the Johnson County Team (JoCART), the lead for the KC Metro regional team, was made in regards to this quarterly newsletter. The suggestion was to offer a section for each region where progress, projects and ideas can be shared. Share a team experience from your regional team or highlight an accomplishment from a county team in your region.  If you wish to participate please select a contact point for your region, responsible for submitting your "quarterly update", and have them contact Kelly Benton to discuss format, timing of submission and content.  With each report you can include a picture or your team logo.
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