Editor’s Note: See Hurricane Harvey: Aid for Veterinarians for updated links to resources for veterinarians affected by Harvey, and information on how to help those in need.
Like all of you, our hearts are heavy as we watch news coverage of the devastation from Hurricane Harvey and its continuing rainfall. Many AVMA members and partners across the profession have reached out to us asking how they can help assist as the people of Texas and surrounding areas struggle to cope with this devastating storm.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is in contact with the Texas and Louisiana Veterinary Medical Associations, the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and will offer support to Texas A&M and Louisiana State University. The AVMA is assisting these organizations with dissemination of information and will continue to do so.
We thank the many veterinarians in the affected communities who are providing their time and emergency services to help animals and families affected by Harvey. The American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) has disaster reimbursement grants available to AVMA members who provide emergency medical care and/or boarding services to the affected animals. Those participating in rescue and emergency care may apply for these grants through the American Veterinary Medical Association AVMF website.
If you would like to support this work, you can make a donation to the foundation using the AVMF Code “Disaster Relief” when completing the donation form. Questions about the grant program can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The AVMA PLIT is actively assisting AVMA members affected by Harvey. PLIT representatives reached out to approximately 700 practices prior to the storm to provide early guidance on how to deal with potential damages and claims. Additionally, PLIT’s carrier, Hartford Insurance, has catastrophe teams staged in San Antonio, as well as mobile claims offices ready to deploy to the area as soon as they are able.
To report a property claim with Hartford: Claims can be reported by phone to 1-800-553-1710 or submitted online via the Hartford website.
The National Weather Service has said this storm is “beyond anything experienced before.” Some projections indicate that certain locations could receive up to 50 inches of rain when the storm finally ends. Texas alone reports more than 600,000 people under mandatory evacuation, with another 1 million under voluntary evacuation.
USDA-APHIS is working to aid producers and positioning staff in key areas in Texas and Louisiana where flooding may cause further damage. APHIS inspectors also are coordinating closely with zoos, breeders and other licensed facilities in the region to ensure the safety of animals in their care.
The AVMA will continue to coordinate efforts with those involved and do our part to help them get the right information to the right people. We’re heartened by the outpouring of support that we have seen nationally for all of those affected by Harvey, and we hope you will join us in thanking and supporting everyone involved in the ongoing rescue and response