The unprecedented devastation caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita presented a uniquely challenging situation for animals and their owners in southern Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast region during the fall of 2005. Animal issues and concerns that arose during the disaster response and recovery were addressed through the National Response Plan and the Louisiana Animal Disaster Plan, under the jurisdiction of ESF-11,1 with efforts led by the LDAF. The LSART was the operational arm for response activities and was largely made up of veterinarians and volunteers from the LVMA and the LSU SVM, which is an active district organization member of the LVMA. The following is a report of the emergency response to equine disaster victims by faculty and staff members of the EHSP at the LSU SVM, members of the LSART and LVMA, state officials, and volunteers. This account is provided for the purpose of sharing information and lessons learned that may be useful to those in the veterinary and other animal-care professions in an effort to collectively enhance our abilities nationwide in providing optimum care and resources for animals and their owners when confronted with a natural or manmade disaster.
Emergency support function
Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry
Louisiana State Animal Response Team
Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association
Louisiana State University
School of Veterinary Medicine
Equine Health Studies Program
Veterinary Teaching Hospital and Clinic
Horse Hurricane Helpline
The National Response Plan. APHIS Web site. Available at: www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/pubs/fsheet_faq_notice/fs_ahnrp.pdf. Accessed Apr 12, 2007.
Climate of 2005, summary of Hurricane Katrina. National Climatic Data Center Web site. Available at: www.ncdc.noaa. gov/oa/climate/research/2005/katrina.html. Accessed Apr 12, 2007.
FEMA independent study program: IS-100 introduction to Incident Command System, I-100. Emergency Management Institute Web site. Available at: www.training.fema.gov/EMIWEB/is/ is100.asp. Accessed Apr 12, 2007.