Kansas State Animal Response Team Newsletter
First Quarter - 2014

FROM THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Hello to everyone.  As the new President of the Board of Directors of KS SART, I would like to introduce myself.  I am a veterinarian at the Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Hospital of Wichita, working for 10 years exclusively in the emergency service and then, 2 years ago, began the rehabilitation service for our clinic.  I have worked with Dr. Christen Skaer in disaster response since the Greensburg tornado in 2007, by attending disaster training, seminars and deployments as she has lead the way in creating and organizing the Animal Response Teams throughout Kansas.

I am both honored (and scared) to have been chosen by the Board of Directors to take over the presidency.  I am also relieved that Christen will be remaining on the Board in order to help me understand all of the things that she has accomplished over the past 7 years.  It is also a welcome relief to have Kelly Benton lending a guiding hand as well.

I am looking forward to meeting each of you over the next several months.  We have plans to attend meetings throughout the State with the Emergency Managers, county animal response teams and regional animal response teams.  This year is also exciting in that we will begin programs to better educate pet owners, veterinarians, first responders and the public about the importance of emergency preparedness  for both humans and pets.

If I can be of assistance,  you can reach me at janhinshaw@sbcglobal.net.

Jan Hinshaw, DVM, CCRP, cVMA                                      
President, KS State Animal Response Team
 



GETTING TO KNOW YOUR KS SART BOARD OF DIRECTORS (BoD)

A big THANK YOU to Chris Chronis, Richard Havens and Devan Tucking-Stickler.  Sadly, their service on the KS SART BoD concluded in December 2013.  Thank you for your support, your hard work and your passion!

WELCOME ABOARD to Dr Jan Hinshaw, president, Carolyn Jergenson, treasurer and George Sears!  Their KS SART BoD service began January 1, 2014!   We are looking forward to the contributions these new folks will make in moving the organization forward!

Many of your KS SART board members have been with the organization a number of years, but do you really know them?   Click here to see their bios now on the KS SART BoD page, simply click on the name of the board member you want to know more about and you will be guided to their individual bio page.  

Did you know that the KS SART board is structured to include representatives from several key animal and/or disaster response organizations to maximize networking, create a diverse contributing knowledge base and extend additional credibility by association.  This carefully designed structure optimizes development of policies and procedures, as well as a strong, wide-spread voice for the animal response team efforts in Kansas! Representatives from these organizations are actively recruited for the board;  Kansas Division of Emergency Management, Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Health, Kansas State University, Kansas Veterinary Medical Association, Pet Health Industry Provider, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Kansas State University Research and Extension, Kansas Livestock Association or related group, a national animal disaster response organization and an animal shelter.  Additionally, the board appreciates the representation of the Red Cross as an active member of KS SART.

Thanks to the KS SART board of directors, all volunteers, for leading the charge and supporting the animal response teams of Kansas!
 



KS SART BoD STRATEGIC PLANNING - 2014

Strategic - of great importance to a planned effect.
Planning -  the establishment of goals.


The board met on Saturday, January 25th for an annual strategic meeting, with eleven of the fourteen board members and the Unit Coordinator in attendance.  The items listed below were deemed important in moving the organization forward in 2014.  These projects will be undertaken by the KS SART BoD and the Unit Coordinator with support and input from you, the animal response team volunteers.  If you or your team find a particular goal interesting, or your team can provide a skill, offer support or a relevant resource for any of these areas of focus, please contact Kelly Benton at administrator@kssart.org.

KS SART BoD Goals for 2014:

  1. Public Education/Outreach - My PET Project:  Pets Evacuate Too (a new, developing state wide public education program funded by a Medical Reserve Corp grant obtained in 2014 by KS SART in the amount of $20,000)
  2. MOUs (also incorporated into "MY PET Project:  Pets Evacuate Too")
  3. Large scale exercise planning - potential state wide exercise in 2016
  4. Funding for sustainability
  5. Resource Inventory management for all teams
  6. Annual training for volunteers - KS SART Annual Conference


TEAM GOALS 2014:  (Regional and County)

Goal - the end toward which effort is directed. 

A goal offers something to reach toward, a commonality to bring volunteers together and provide the opportunity for teamwork and a shared reward.  This strategy offers individual volunteers the chance to participate in the collective decision making process.  It stimulates creativity and gives volunteers some ownership in their team's future and motivation to support the goals they helped define.  

KC Metro Regional Animal Response Team Goals for 2014:

  1. Develop deployment manual.
  2. Select managers/officers and develop their response roles.
  3. Conducting an exercise to train on actual shelter setup.
  4. Create/develop partnerships with local shelters.
  5. Grow the number of qualified responders on our team.
  6. Finalize procedures with the county for use of the trailer by the response team.

North Central Regional Animal Response Team Goals for 2014:

  1. Continue to work with CERT and Emergency Management to grow the animal response team volunteer base and strengthen the response network.
North East Regional Animal Response Team Goals for 2014:
  1. Get trained volunteers in the database, reaching for a total of 50 registered disaster responders by September 2014.  We will review current volunteer training records and scheduled needed training sessions throughout the year to get volunteer training up to date.

North West Regional Animal Response Team (Great Plains) Goals for 2014:

  1. Increase our volunteer base by 5% by 2015.  To begin we will add regular training sessions in addition to monthly meetings.
  2. Acquire a CAMET trailer for our region. We are hoping to seek assistance from KS SART, Hansen Foundation and the Heartland Foundation as well as presenting it to Homeland Security.
  3. Distribute an animal first aid kit to each county that is active with our regional team to provide each county with a beginning inventory in case of a disaster. 
South Central Regional Animal Response Team Goals for 2014:
  1. Include a training session as a part of each quarterly SC regional team meeting in hopes of encouraging more volunteers to participate and provide regional training opportunities. (SC Regional ART)
  2. Identify at least two potential emergency shelter locations in each county.  Phase I - identify locations and obtain contact information, Phase II - initiate contact and conduct a shelter evaluation, Phase III - obtain MOUs.  (Kingman/Pratt CART)
  3. Conduct our first fundraiser, a 5k race on May 10, "Twisters and Blisters" in the hope of raising enough money to obtain a 501C-3 this year.  (Harvey CART)
  4. Recruit and train new volunteers, and promote public awareness through distribution of educational materials at public events,  (Butler CART)
  5. Develop and implement a volunteer mentoring program for new volunteers during their first year with the organization.  (Sedgwick CART)
South East Regional Animal Response Team Goals for 2014:
  1. Bring counties together for a large introductory team meeting this spring, inviting interested parties, current volunteers and emergency management.  This meeting will be organized by the current county leads with assistance from KS SART and be promoted in the local newspapers and social media.
South West Regional Animal Response Team Goals for 2014:
  1. Planning for a regional exercise in June which will include using the new CAMET trailer. 
 

Making Friends with your Emergency Manager

Two county teams were highlighted in their local county emergency management newsletters! Congratulations goes to Butler and Cowley county teams!  Read the Butler CART article.  Read the Cowley CART article.

Some tips offered by Midge Grinstead, KS SART BoD member...

Getting To Know Your Emergency Manager
One of the most important things you can do to get your Animal Response Team ready for disasters is to form a relationship with your emergency manager.  Keeping them informed and up to date on disaster related animal issues and how your ART is trained and prepared will go a long way in forming that relationship.
 
Getting Started:
  • How do I find my Emergency Manager?  Click here
  • How do I approach my EM? Make a call and let them know who you are.  Schedule an appointment to meet face-to-face.
  • What do I say?  Tell them about the CART and let them know your qualifications.  Go through the training required for your team and explain how it is set up under KS SART.  What are the EM’s questions? 
 Building a Disaster Plan with your EM:
  • Does the EM have an animal emergency plan?  If so, ask to look it over.  If not, ask to help develop one.
  • Find out where humans will be held during the disaster and ask about co-housing.
  • If co-housing is not a viable option, then look for buildings close to the human housing sites.  Give estimates on what the CART will need for space, set-up and communications.
  • Work up a rough draft plan for your EM or add to the plan they already have in place, making sure to explain the changes and why they are necessary.
 Are There Other Things My CART Can Do To Help?
  • Offer to speak to the county CERT teams.  Talk about what the CART does and how you are trained.
  • Give the EM schedules for upcoming training either through your CART or through KS SART or Regional CARTs.
  • Ask to work mock disasters, whether they include animals or not.  It will give you a good idea of what to expect.
  • Take the CERT training for your county.
Volunteer Update

Did you know that a total of 4,100 hours of volunteer service time was recorded in 2013 by animal response team volunteers in Kansas?  Did you remember to record your hours?  Do you know how?  If you need a refresher on how to record service hours, click here!  Please take time to enter your service hours.  They are important for tracking activity, often asked for on grant applications and could offer a great platform for recognizing volunteers at the annual KS SART conference.  

In the national news, the national volunteer rate continued to climb in 2013, with more than one in four adults volunteering through a nonprofit organization and a total of 64.5 million Americans contributing almost 7.9 billion hours of their time!  Read more here...  

For more information on animal response team activities across the US, you can subscribe to news alerts through Yahoo or Google.  Be sure you include in the search details "Animal Response Team".  It is an easy way to get news about animal response teams sent straight to your in-box!  
 
KS SART Annual Conference Update

The conference planning has begun!  If you have suggestions for a session topic, a speaker, or an activity you would like to see included in this years conference, please email Kelly Benton at administrator@kssart.org.  We are exploring possibilities of a joint conference or a separate conference just for animal response team volunteers and the time frame under consideration is late summer or early fall.   As details become available active volunteers will be notified via email.

Grant Awarded to KS SART to develop a state-wide education program

My PET Project:  Pets Evacuate Too!

In a disaster could you evacuate your home, without your pet?  Preparation can prevent your need to answer that question and the Kansas State Animal Response Team can help! KS SART will teach Kansans how to include their pets in disaster preparedness planning and recognize what animal response teams offer pets during disaster response...

...As a pet owner, how should I prepare my family and pets?  What resources are available for my pet?  How can animal response teams help my pets, a neighbor’s, a friend’s?  How can I help an animal response team?  KS SART answers these questions for pet owners, the pet service industry, pet shelters, businesses and the community, by offering preparation guidelines, response resources and opportunities for involvement in animal response.  Continue reading...
Youth Volunteers

Every year there are questions about the appropriate age of animal response team volunteers.  It is encouraging to see youth interested in volunteering and we often approached by parents wishing to volunteer with their kids.  So to help with this challenge, the following youth volunteer guidelines have been added to the KS SART website:

Volunteers must be 18 or older and have completed the CORE training requirements to be eligible for direct disaster response related assignments in the disaster area, and/or animal handling assignments outside of the disaster area, including by not limited to the temporary animal shelter. Youth volunteers between the ages of 16-18 interested in disaster response are encouraged to complete the CORE training assignments and may be allowed to participate in non-response team activities if accompanied by a parent or guardian who is a current animal response team disaster responder volunteer.  Youth volunteers are not eligible to participate in a disaster response, a disaster zone, or a temporary animal shelter and are not authorized to handle animals.
 
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