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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Disaster Response

I want to help with a current disaster.  What should I do?

Contact your local emergency response leader.  This may be your local Medical Reserve Corps coordinator, county emergency management director, state veterinarian’s office, etc.  DO NOT SELF-DEPLOY!  It is generally not helpful for an individual to “just show up” at a disaster scene.  That individual can become a problem and utilize resources rather then contributing to the resolution.

What, if any, training should I get?

Generally, the FEMA IS 100 and IS 700 online courses are considered the very basic training required by all responders.  These are available online and free of charge through the links on the AAZV Disaster Preparedness Committee’s webpage.

What is ICS (Incident Command System)?  I am not government, do I have to know it?

YES, all responders need to be familiar with and understand ICS and be able to fit within the framework. ICS is a set of personnel, policies, procedures, facilities, and equipment, integrated into a common organizational structure designed to improve emergency response operations of all types and complexities. ICS is a subcomponent of the National Incident Management System (NIMS), as released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2004.  An ICS is based upon a flexible, scalable response organization providing a common framework within which people can work together effectively. These people may be drawn from multiple agencies that do not routinely work together, and ICS is designed to give standard response and operation procedures to reduce the problems and potential for miscommunication on such incidents.


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