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Want to train to be a disaster response volunteer for animals? Here’s how


disaster animal response team volunteer


Last week we asked our Facebook community, “Have you ever considered becoming a trained pet disaster response volunteer?” An overwhelming majority said yes, but didn’t know how to sign up. As promised, here’s how:

  1. First, download the Humane Society of the United States’s requirements for National Disaster Animal Response Team (NDART) volunteers. This lists the courses and training required to become an NDART volunteer responder.

  1. As required by HSUS, take the following self-study
    courses available on the FEMA Web
  2. Next, get trained in human and pet first aid and CPR. To find
    courses, consult your local chapter of the American
    Red Cross
  3. Read Animals & Society Institute’s Animals
    in Disasters: Responsibility and Action
  4. Submit an NDART volunteer application and sign up for a
    three-day NDART training course near you.
    Find one here.
  5. Do a Google search for a “disaster animal response team” in your
    area (like this one for New Hampshire residents or this one in Massachusetts) or call your local animal care and control and ask if there’s one nearby. Let them know that you
    have completed the HSUS NDART training and are interested in
    volunteering locally.

Federal regulations require all states to include pets and other animals in their disaster plans — so it’s a good bet that there’s a local DART or CART (Community Animal Response Team) taskforce in your area. These taskforces are set up locally in coordination with your nearby rescue organizations and are sometimes lead by your city’s animal care and control. We recommend the HSUS disaster training as one of the most comprehensive courses for prospective disaster volunteers out there, whether you end up being an NDART volunteer or not.

Of course, the first part of helping others is making sure that you
yourself are covered. So make sure your family has a disaster kit
tailored to your whole family’s needs — including your pets’. This way,
you can focus your efforts on helping others should disaster strike.
For more information, check out our disaster-preparedness
and disaster kit shopping lists for dogs,
and horses.

Are you a disaster response volunteer? Tell
about your experiences below!

Additional resources (thank you to our commenters for suggesting we include these):

United Animal Nations’ Emergency Animal Rescue Service Volunteer Training

Noah’s Wish Volunteer In-Field Training

American Humane Basic Emergency Services Training

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