NASAAEP Best Practices Working Group Documents

The National Alliance of State Animal and Agricultural Emergency Programs (NASAAEP) with funding from USDA Animal Care convened a series of working groups (2010-2014). These groups were charged with identifying Best Practices for various aspects of the emergency response for animals. Below are the documents that are the result of their work.

Emergency Animal Decontamination Best Practices

This document provides an overview of the challenges, options, and resources involved in the development and implementation of emergency contamination plans for various animals.

Animal Evacuation and Transportation

Animal Evacuation and Transportation Best Practices

The document contains guidance for the transportation and evacuation of pet birds, reptiles, pocket pets, poultry, and oiled wildlife.

Emergency Animal Sheltering Best Practices

Animal professionals and animal protection advocates have an important role to play in the disaster
preparedness and response activities in their communities regarding animals. Working under the
direction of emergency management officials as part of an integrated system, they may be asked to
prepare their communities for, or respond to, disasters that affect animals. Part of the task may be to
plan for, and operate, an emergency animal shelter.

Disaster Veterinary Care: Best Practices

The purpose of the NASAAEP Disaster Veterinary Medical Care Best Practice Working Group is to provide guidance to veterinarians and veterinary professionals regarding the immediate veterinary medical care of animals affected by a disaster.  During such an event, veterinary disaster responders may also be tasked with providing information on preventive medicine, public health, zoonotic disease control and ongoing emergency care while animals continue to be impacted by the disaster.  As in any disaster, a plan that mobilizes local resources and expertise as quickly as possible can save the lives of people and animals.

Reccommended Forms 1 and Forms 2  

Preparedness and Community Outreach Best Practices

This document discusses how to develop appropriate messaging content in an animal emergency, why message delivery can be just as important as its content, how messaging can be delivered and by whom, and who should be the recipients and why.

Planning and Resource Management Best Practices

This document provides a “roadmap” to assist those responsible for animal emergency management in their jurisdictions to locate and identify essential information and provide links to more detailed references.

Zoological Best Practices Working Group

The mission of the Zoological Best Practices Working Group is to promote a culture of all hazards contingency planning and preparedness for the managed wildlife community. To that end, the group will research, prepare, review and disseminate documents to assist facilities in drafting their own contingency plans. The Working Group will encourage facilities to work with first responders, local emergency management and other stakeholders to draft useful plans that are integrated into their jurisdictional emergency management infrastructure.

Animal Search and Rescue

Animal Search and Rescue (ASAR) is tasked by the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) and mounted by emergency services, animal care and control, and trained responders, to locate, stabilize, extricate and evacuate animals believed to be in distress, lost, abandoned, sick, stranded, trapped or injured.

ASAR functions may include:

  1. Providing the resources and expertise to effectively execute animal rescue operations;
  2. Conducting assessments;
  3. Providing situational awareness to assist in coordination of animal rescue efforts;
  4. Capturing, confining, packaging and transporting animals believed to be in distress or adversely affected;
  5. Triaging and providing emergency/stabilizing medical treatment for animals;
  6. Collaborating with sheltering-in-place and feeding teams to identify appropriate operational areas;
  7. Executing the documentation process (where, when, status, and disposition of animal, etc.).

ASAR teams will be comprised of:

  1. Animal rescue responders who have been trained with the appropriate animal SAR competencies;
  2. Animal rescue responders who have been trained with the appropriate human SAR competencies;
  3. Human SAR team members who have animal handling competencies;
  4. Human/animal integrated team.

In the following links, interested parties may find resources which will give suggestions for starting an ASAR Team and the appropriate training and equipment needed to be a safely effective team.