With many families still attempting to assess and manage the damage caused by Hurricane Matthew, many are in need of assistance. It’s not just humans that have been affected; pets, too, are in need of help. The AVMA has put together a list of ways you can help pets and the families of pets affected by Hurricane Matthew.
- Volunteer within the system. If you are in an affected state and would like to volunteer in the response and recovery efforts, contact your state veterinary medical association or other volunteer coordination agency for information about volunteer opportunities.
- Give to the disaster response charity of your choice, but beware of charities that may use this disaster to collect money without actually assisting those affected by it. As with any charitable donation, do your homework first to make sure you’re comfortable with how your money will be spent.
- Monetary donations are preferred, because transportation of donations of supplies and products requires a lot of resources and may be delayed due to damaged or obstructed roadways. Donating money allows the responding organizations to purchase the supplies that are most needed in the affected areas.
- If you’re interested in helping veterinary clinics affected by the hurricane, contact the veterinary medical association in that state to see if they have a relief fund. Be patient when contacting them, because they may be experiencing communication difficulties due to damaged power and telephone lines as well as impaired cellular service. Keep in mind that they’re also in an affected area, and are facing damage to their homes and concerns about their family’s safety.
- Learn about disaster response. If you’d like to better understand disaster response efforts, the FEMA Emergency Management Institute offers online modules about the Incident Command System, animals in disasters, and more.