Multnomah County Animal Services (MCAS) and Multnomah County Emergency Management (MCEM) hosted an Animals in Emergencies workshop with regional animal care & control, law enforcement, emergency management, and veterinary partners on Wednesday, February 26, 2020. This special meeting was held to increase preparedness to support animals, their people, and agricultural needs during and after disasters.
Forty-six (46) participants from twenty-one (21) agencies and organizations throughout Northwest Oregon and Southern Washington attended the event:
Dr. Brad LeaMaster of the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) - State Veterinarian Program briefed the group on recently developed standardized animal evacuation and sheltering documentation, and answered questions about disaster preparedness.
Participants worked in small groups to identify and discuss critical resources available during emergencies, such as animal transport vehicles, specialized teams, emergency shelter locations, and other considerations to increase regional response capabilities. Attendees also identified key contacts for each group, and discussed emergency communications protocol.
The workshop featured an equipment “show and tell” segment, where groups including Oregon Humane Society Technical Animal Rescue (OHSTAR), Mariann Deering of The Sling Project, Banfield Pet Hospital, Multnomah County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), and Multnomah County Animal Services brought and demonstrated specialized equipment.
The February 26 workshop was the second in a series of regional stakeholder meetings to operationalize Multnomah County’s Emergency Support Function for Agriculture and Animal Protection (ESF-17). ESF roles are developed for the National Incident Management System (NIMS) in order for our community to prepare for disasters and emergencies in a way that can be supported by state and federal agencies as needed.
Multnomah County plans to conduct an emergency response exercise in 2020 for regional partners. Those interested in learning more and/or participating in future workshops and exercises are invited to reach out to Multnomah County Animal Services (firstname.lastname@example.org).