Helping Those Affected by Natural Disaster
The Georgia Veterinary Medical Association would like to share important information with you about Hurricane disaster response. The key organizations and agencies responsible for that response in Texas, Florida & Georgia have expressed gratitude for the outpouring of offers to help, and would like the veterinary community to know the following:
1. Don’t self-deploy!
While the good intentions are appreciated, a systematic response is essential for effective, efficient progress of response and recovery efforts. Self-deploying volunteers can actually complicate and add to the work of local emergency management officials. Please do not enter a disaster-stricken area unless you are part of an organized response team with authorized access.
2. Future volunteer work is possible
The agencies tasked with response and recovery will identify needs for volunteers, and those volunteers will be coordinated through the incident management system. If you are interested in volunteering time to aid recovery efforts you should register now with the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (www.nvoad.org) and then await word on how and where your efforts can help. To facilitate supporting future incidents, veterinarians may want to consider joining and training with a veterinary medical emergency response team, www.servga.gov.
3. Donate if you can—GVMA Board of Directors will match your donation (up to $25,000)
Emergency officials say the best way to help at present is to donate to reputable organizations that will funnel the right aid to the people who need it. If you donate through the Georgia Veterinary Medical Foundation (https://gvma.memberclicks.net/gvma-disaster-relief-donation-form), all donations to this fund will be matched up to $25,000. These donations will be used to assist veterinarians, clinics & animals displaced by the recent hurricanes that affected Texas, Florida, and parts of Georgia. Please donate today!
4. Stay informed
The American Veterinary Medical Association has created a special website page (www.avma.org) covering hurricane information for veterinarians, including how AVMA member veterinarians participating in rescue and emergency care related to recent hurricanes may apply for reimbursement grants through the AVMF.