In a disaster, the most important function of emergency services is to save human lives. So why should emergency services and non-governmental organizations use precious and limited resources to evacuate and shelter animals in a disaster? Why spend time planning for animal issues? There are two main reasons: first, governments have a legal requirement to have a plan for managing household pets and service animals during a disaster. Second, saving animals saves human lives. We know that people will risk their own lives (and those of responders) to save the lives of their own pets or other animals, and loose animals and animal carcasses present a public health risk that can delay recovery efforts.
The goal of the Utah Community Animal Response Program is to educate animal owners and governmental and non-governmental agencies about the importance of disaster preparedness, register Community Animal Response Teams, and provide guidance to government agencies in the development of emergency operation plans and standard operating procedures for responding to animal issues during a disaster.
Comprehensive planning efforts for animal issues before a disaster strikes will save lives, reduce risky search and rescue efforts, reduce recovery costs by utilizing volunteers and available community resources, and prevent a public relations nightmare like was seen after Hurricane Katrina.
Community Animal Response Teams (CART)
A Community Animal Response Team is a community-based disaster response team integrated with local government emergency response and composed of trained and vetted volunteers who will save human and animal lives by assisting animal control and the public before, during, and after natural or man-made disasters.
For more information on creating a CART team, click here: Guidance Document
To register a CART (Only Team Coordinators need to register), click here.
- IS-100: Incident Command System
- IS-700a: National Incident Management System
- IS-10a: Animals in Disaster: Awareness and Preparedness
- IS-11a: Animals in Disaster: Community Planning
- American Red Cross Pet First Aid – Utah Chapter website
- CERT Animal Response Module I
- CERT Animal Response Module II
City and County Planning Guidance
The Utah Community Animal Response Program has developed planning guidance for counties and cities.
CARP EOP Template
CARP SOP Templates
Roles and responsibilities template