May 6, 2011
Field Notes: Southern States Disaster Relief Effort
HSUS team helps with animal rescue and sheltering operations in the wake of recent tornadoes and expected flooding
Alabama post-tornado community outreach
In Tuscaloosa, we are doing house-to-house searches for animals in the areas where the homes are damaged but not destroyed. In addition to looking for animals, we are talking to people in the neighborhoods about animal issues they may know about, delivering pet food, and generally offering anything we can do to help.
We are operating three staging areas in the tornado areas where we can bring the animals we find, take in found animals from the public, take reports of lost animals, give out pet food, cages, and other supplies, etc.
Mississippi flood preparations
Adams County, on the La./Miss. border, is preparing for flooding evacuees to arrive next week. The county has requested that we establish and operate a temporary shelter for residents' animals during the time they are displaced, which we are ready to do.
Tennessee flood preparations
The HSUS is on notice for flooding expected in northwest Tennessee. It is a very rural area with significant livestock populations. We have large animal rescue equipment staged in Nashville, and it will be made available, if needed, to augment local rescue activities.
Missouri flood preparations
On May 4, our intake numbers increased dramatically, and we are helping the ASPCA provide care to approximately 370 animals (everything from dogs and cats to horses, a goat, rabbits, guinea pigs, and more). Efficiency and standard operating procedures will be worked on tomorrow in order to ensure that the best humane care is provided to the animals in the shelter during this disaster situation.
We are fielding multiple supply and personnel requests for other impacted areas such as Kentucky and Illinois. We are working with HSUS state directors to prioritize where resources are allocated, and identify partnerships with agencies, such as the ASPCA, that will positively influence our abilities to respond.