Virginia Department of Emergency Management
10501 Trade Court, Richmond, VA 23236
Robin Schmitz, VASART
Bob Spieldenner, VDEM
FOR RELEASE AT WILL
July 11, 2011
Conference provides training for Virginia State Animal Response Teams
Virginia Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security is keynote speaker
RICHMOND, VA – The 2011 Virginia State Animal Response Team Summit, July 15 at the Meadow Event Park in Doswell, Va., will provide local and state governments, volunteer organizations and individuals with important training that will help them create and practice emergency response plans for Virginia’s pets and their owners.
“One of the primary goals of VASART is to coordinate the development of Community Animal Response Teams statewide. The Summit provides the opportunity for participants to gain knowledge and skills that will support the Commonwealth in emergency response,” said Peggy Allen, co-chair of VASART.
Virginia Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Terrie Suit’s keynote address will be “The State of the Commonwealth’s Pet Sheltering Program: Where We Are, What We’re Trying to Achieve and How We Get There.”
Other summit sessions will include lessons learned from state managed shelters, the role of the Meadow Event Park in emergency sheltering operations, the public health aspects of pet sheltering and other breakout sessions.
“Recent events have shown that pet owners are more likely to evacuate if they know that there is a place for their pets to go,” said Michael Cline, state coordinator for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. “Continued training will help to strengthen Virginia’s pet sheltering plan and, in turn, help save human lives.”
VASART serves as a unifying network of organizations, businesses, federal and state government agencies and individuals that support the prevention, preparedness, response and recovery for emergencies affecting animals. VASART works with organizations like the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Virginia Veterinary Medical Association, VDEM and others to coordinate assistance to evacuating pet-owners to find shelters and facilities that will accept pets in response to a governor-declaration of a state of emergency.
The summit agenda and registration are available at http://www.virginiasart.org/.
Be ready. Be willing to help.
Virginia Disaster Relief Fund
How is the money distributed?
Fund proceeds will be distributed to local long-term recovery groups, members of the Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and other non-profit and faith-based organizations as a grant.
Many of these groups work directly with individuals and families following a disaster.
How else can I donate?
The Virginia Disaster Relief Fund benefits projects that include: repair or rebuilding of underinsured dwellings, transportation assistance, replacing essential household items, helping renters establish new rental residence, temporary living expenses while recovering from loss, and more.
How can I donate?
If you want to help, send checks made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia with “Virginia Disaster Relief Fund” noted in the memo line to:
P.O. Box 1971
Richmond, VA 23218-1971