Disaster Training Edit

About Edit

  1. This course prepares ACT members for on the scene animal rescue during a declared disaster
  2. Lessons are published and tested weekly
  3. To participate:
    1. Join the ACT Main Forum & ACT Training Forum
      1. Signup for the next course
      2. Study the weekly emailed lessons
      3. Answer & respond to the emailed lesson questions
    2. Use this wiki
      1. What is a wiki?
      2. Study previous lessons, and optionally
      3. Create a user account in this wiki
      4. Login into this wiki
      5. Learn some wiki markup and
      6. Practice on your "my talk" wiki page
      7. Leave questions and comments in the Q&A sections below or use the discussion tab above.
      8. Check the #External links for more resources
      9. Lookup unfamiliar terms in the Glossary

Lesson #1 - Emergencies & Disasters Edit

Nov 13, 2006

What is considered to be an Emergency?

There is a fine line between an Emergency and a Disaster. We will first discuss the definition of an emergency. Then the steps leading to a disaster declaration.

From what information that is out there, most rescues, are unsure of the difference, and that is not good. There needs to be that line of definition.

Federal definition:
  • An emergency is any occassion or instance for which, the determination of the President, Federal assistance is needed to supplement State and local efforts and capabilities to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety.
HSUS Definition:
  • Any event which is beyond the capability of the victims to handle.

Both definitions mean the same, but there is more to the both of them. Within an emergency situation there is a line of communication which passes through the chain of command. This is where we can determine what is considered to be an emergency and what is to be considered a Disaster.

Within the state levels, the magnitude of an event usally has to be of disaster proportions but when this level is reached the state declares, a State of Emergency, rather than declaring a disaster. When the state cannot handle the stress or complications of the emergency it then goes to the federal level, it is at that time the emergency turns into a disaster.

The officials from New Orleans, never followed this ladder of declaration.

Let us look at the flooding of the New England states, earlier this year. That was a state of emergency, ONLY. They reported that it was a disaster area, but it was never declared as such. so NO outside help was needed.

Emergencies are handled within the state. There are steps that must be taken before any help can be given. these steps start at the bottom and go up the ladder. The situation always starts as an emergencies first.

The ladder consists of these steps;
A. Crisis occurs
B. Local Government responds
C. Damage assessment at the local level
D. The state will respond to the local assessment
E. State/Local damage Assessment
F. State recovery systems are initiated
G. The federal level will assess the damages as well, along with the local and State (These assessments will continue thru out the whole ordeal.)
H. The Governor will request a declaration FEMA will review the declaration and determine if it requires federal assistance.
I. If so then the President will declare it to be a Disaster.

Any emergency that requires Federal assistance is declared a Disaster.

So the definitions of a Disaster are as follows;

  • From a dictionary= An occurance causing widespread destruction & distress.
  • HSUS= The situation would be to the extent necessary to activate assistance beyond that of the REGULAR Response System.
  • Federal Goverment= Any natural Catastrophe which (in the determination of the President) causes damage assistance to supplement the efforts and available resources of the states, local governments, and disaster relief organizations.

As you can see, there is a line between an Emergency and a Disaster.

And now you know the difference between the two.

Next lesson, will be about Types of Disasters.

Lesson #2 - Types of Disasters Edit

Nov 16, 2006

Natural Vs. Man-made... Large Vs. Small....

There lots of them for us to consider...

Let's start with Natural........

Hurricanes, Tornados, Cyclones, Electrical storms, Tidal waves, Tsunami, Landslide, Mudslides, Volcanic Eruptions, Storm surges,Drought, Wildfires, Flooding, Snowstorms/Blizzards.

And now Man-Made........

Explosions, Building Fires, Hazardous materials, Airplane/Train Crashes, Blackouts, Oil Spills, Water Pollution, Nuclear attacks, Terrorism, and Dam/Levee Failures.

Now with every Disaster there are always secondary effects.

Earthquakes= Landslides, Tsunami, Fire, Levee/Dam Failure, Transportation accidents, power failures, fuel shortages, water supply failures, Hazardous materials.
As you can see, that with any disaster we can have so many other factors that tie in with a disaster. And the secondary effects are the main cause of hindering any rescue efforts.
Landslide= Flash flood, dam/levee failure, transportation accidents, power failure, fuel shortage, water supply failure.
Snowstorms/Blizzards=Landslides, flash floods, slow rise floods, transportation accidents, aircraft accidents, power failure, fuel shortage.

As you can see, the secondary effects can be as bad as the Primary Disasters, themselves.

We also must remember what roles the above disasters/secondary effects will have on the residents within those impacted areas.

Residents/People= Death, Injury, Illness, shock(mental & physical) homelessness, food loss, property loss ( & clothing) seperation of family and pets.
Communities= Utilities disrupted, communications disrupted, transportation disrupted, public buildings damaged, public services overburdened, medical & health services disrupted, animals wandering, animals injured or dead, which add to the disruption of other responses and causing additional health & safety problems.

Next lesson will be about Disaster Management.

Lesson #3 - Disaster Management:Emergency Support Edit

Functions...The federal Government has 12 of them. Other state's may vary on the number or may not have them at all. This system was orginally developed to manage the planning of an emergency and to bring various departments together in a unified plan.

See the ESF functions under the glossary terms for a complete definition.
Command System/Incident Management System/Incident Operations System is also used to manage a disaster, which is a bit different than the ESF system. But sometimes both Sysytems are used to manage a disaster, so it is always better to learn both systems,as we never know who will use which system. The ICS system was developed for the purpose of managing the response phase of war and the emeregencies therin. It has now been adapted and used in many different emergency based departments, like Fire Depts, forestry services, and the military. It is made up of 4 sections/departments. They include Operations, Logistics, Planning, and Administration/Finance.

Lesson #4 - Disaster management Cont.Edit

Legal Ramifications of Animals in Disasters

Property seperated from its owner during a disaster must be dealt with as LOST property under the lost property statues, even if the property is an animal. The animals ( property) can not be dealt with under local animal control ordinances as strays when the cause of seperation from the owner was a major disaster. Property cannot be altered without the consent of the owner. In other words, animals cannot be micro-chipped, or altered in any way without the consent of the owner without legal consquences to follow, at the owner's discretion.

Liability of Animal care Workers
The animal rescue and relief effort in a disaster, will require the utilization of a large number of volunteers. The first protection from the liability for these volunteers should be in "The Good Samaritin Act/Law". Check your state's statues for this law, every state has one, but not every state specifically includes animals.

Check your state statues for State Employment". This statue should contain general provisions providing certain benefits to both regular and occasional volunteers.

Future lesson topics Edit

Lesson #5 - Community Disaster Planning
Lesson #6 - Pending
Lesson #7 - Pending

Terms & Definitions Edit

See the Glossary for all terms & definitions

New terms added to the Glossary:

  • Nov 16, 2006: Aftershocks, Blizzard, Coastal Flood, Cyclones, Hurricane, Emergency operations Center, Epicenter, Fault Line, Hurricane Eye/Center, Mitigation, Flash Flood, Flood, Fujita-Pearson Scale, Gale/Tropical Storm, Hazardous materials, Saffir-Simpson Scale, Severe Weather, Severe Winter Storms, SLOSH, Squall/Squall Line.

See also Edit

Internal links Edit

External links Edit

See also: Disaster preparedness#External links

Footnotes & Categories Edit

  1. optional and recommended
  2. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 strongly recommended for animal rescuers
  3. 4.0 4.1 4.2 required by FEMA