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AHS Disaster Response Team to Participate in National Mass Care Exercise

Written by: Kimberly Ring

AHS, Arizona Department of Emergency Management, and Red Cross to Test the State's Activation Procedures.

As the state’s designated responder for animals in distress during natural disasters, the Arizona Humane Society, along with more than 1,000 players from 75 federal, state, local and tribal government agencies, private sector and voluntary organizations, will participate in Arizona’s National Mass Care Exercise from May 21-24, 2018. The exercise begins with a catastrophic earthquake in southern California that triggers a national migration of 400,000 people to Arizona, stressing mass care capabilities statewide. As part of the exercise, the Papago Military Base softball field will transform into a temporary shelter for both the Red Cross and AHS’ Disaster Response teams as they work together to help the people and pets affected by the disaster. AHS’ Disaster Response team’s deployment will take place on Tuesday, May 22 with the set-up of its temporary pet shelter which will consist of pet housing/intake, Emergency Animal Medical Technician™ ambulance, AKC Disaster Trailer, AHS’ Healthy Tails Mobile Veterinary Clinic – a 60-foot hospital on wheels – as well as owners and their pets played by AHS volunteers and adoptable dogs. “The Arizona Humane Society is looking forward to partnering with other organizations in our state, and on such a large scale, in an effort to practice our disaster response, test our deployment procedures and further train new staff members,” said Debbie McKnight, AHS Director of Field, Behavior and Animal Experience. The Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs has been at the heart of the National Mass Care Exercise planning and coordination for nearly a year. Arizona is the fifth state to host the National Mass Care Exercise, which supports the National Mass Care Strategy to ensure agencies can work together to meet the needs of catastrophic incidents.

Learn More About AHS and Disaster Relief

May 22, 2018