We continue to receive questions about ways to help with the Harvey situation, and we’re proud to be part of this compassionate profession. Again, we repeat what has been communicated by officials in Texas: please do not take it upon yourself to enter a disaster-stricken area unless you are part of an organized response team with authorized access.
Self-deploying volunteers can actually complicate and add to the work of local emergency officials, and relief officials on the ground will turn away any would-be volunteers who are not already part of a team that is trained and credentialed.
Anyone interested in volunteering their time to aid recovery efforts should register now with a National Voluntary Organization Active in Disaster (NVOAD) and then await word on how and where their efforts can help. You can do that at nvoad.org. They are connecting volunteers with local responding organizations as the situation allows volunteers to safely assist. The assistance needed may not be directly involved in veterinary work, but the affected areas will certainly need organized volunteer help as they rebuild.
Veterinarians who are seeking to provide veterinary care in Texas at a later point will need to be licensed and can begin that process in advance. The Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners has applications available for Temporary Emergency Licenses for out-of-state veterinarians who expect to deploy in Texas.
The Texas Veterinary Medical Association and its charitable arm, the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation, are also accepting monetary donations to assist with the recovery. More information is available on the Texas VMA web page.
These are trying times for the people and the animals affected by the storm, and the outpouring of support is heartwarming and inspiring. For ongoing updates, be sure to check our Hurricane Harvey web page.