Disaster Awareness Courses Preparing Northern California First Responders
Chris Brunner, February 12, 2018
Awareness and management level courses for all hazards preparedness and planning for animal and agricultural disasters were held in Santa Rosa, February 2 and 3. Much of the discussion and training was built around the most recent devastating fires. Hosted at the American Red Cross of California Northwest headquarters, the multi-agency participation included animal control officers, fire personnel, law enforcement officials, veterinarians, Red Cross shelter managers, and representatives from Sonoma County Horse Council, NorCal Livestock Evacuation and Support, and other non-government organizations.
The awareness level course (AWR 328) provides a forum for individuals from many different perspectives to meet together and think through what would be needed in order to effectively respond to a disaster that impacts animals in a rural region in the U.S.
Tracey Stevens, an Instructor and Trainer with WIFSS, presented the AWR 328 course, with the support of Ria de Grassi, former Director of Livestock, Animal Health and Welfare for the California Farm Bureau Federation.
The management level course (MGT 448) provides emergency planners, community leaders, veterinarians, animal control personnel, government and non-government agencies and public health agencies with the background information needed to participate in the development of disaster response plans that could be included within the existing operational area.
Holly Powers, the Solano County Emergency Services Assistant Manager, co-taught with Tracey Stevens to deliver the MGT 448 course.
AWR 328 and MGT 448 are sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium, and WIFSS. DHS gives certificates to those completing the course which can be used as proof of training to become part of a disaster team responding to disasters.
Further classes with be hosted in the North Bay for the Animals in Disaster Planning during 2018.