August 4th, 2023
By Beth Gammie, Director of Field Services
Along with responding to particular disasters over the decades, RedRover has been integral in developing and improving the field of animal disaster response through our role as a founding member of the National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition (NARSC).
When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005 there was an immense effort to help rescue and shelter animals impacted by the storm. All of the organizations, including RedRover, did their best to help these animals. As time went on it became clear that much could be done to improve animal disaster response, and out of this realization NARSC was formed.
NARSC was established as a coalition of national animal disaster response groups with the aim to improve response coordination, develop emergency response best practices, and to generally improve the field.
In the almost two decades since, NARSC has become the premier national animal disaster group in the nation. In partnership with other coalitions and federal partners we created Best Practice documents containing state of the art practices on emergency sheltering, disaster veterinary medical care, transportation, animal search and rescue, among other topics. We have agreements with over 15 states to be the organization they turn to when disasters in their state need additional assistance.
Throughout our existence, NARSC has continued to grow and evolve as the field evolves. Initially we began as a coalition of field response organizations; now NARSC includes association members, such as the National Animal Care and Control Association and also the Association for Animal Welfare Advancement. We have also grown to include organizations active in providing funding in animal disaster response, such as Petco Love and PetSmart Charities. This growth does nothing but help improve animal disaster response and coordination.
As part of our participation, RedRover actively participates in NARSC quarterly meetings, phone calls, and nightly coordinating calls during active disasters. In addition to helping national disaster response, participating in NARSC has been key in helping the RedRover Responders program stay an important player in natural disaster response.