Disaster Preparedness and Response | LSU Vet Med

The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine’s (SVM) Disaster Training and Response Program is a partnership with the Louisiana State Animal Response Team (LSART) providing training and emergency response efforts for disaster situations where animals are involved. Course development over the past 10 years has focused on core skills including evacuation, technical large animal rescue, emergency management, shelter operations, slack water rescue, biosecurity, planning, and safety. Both introductory, awareness, and operational level courses are part of the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine’s professional training for veterinary students and part of public education program for graduate veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and other animal care personnel. Courses are often part of actual on-going emergency response situations in Louisiana such as Hurricane’s Gustav, Isaac, and individual animal rescues from floods or vehicular accidents.

When Hurricanes Katrina and Rita ravaged the Southern Mississippi and Louisiana coastlines and surrounding areas, LSU SVM and LSART were well positioned to help and are now a go-to source nationally for animal response. Trainings are often coordinated along with local animal control agencies because they are the officials responsible for animals in a parish (or county). The training program puts students with local first responders such as firefighters and emergency services personnel to get hands-on training. The LSU SVM is one of the few veterinary schools to offer a robust training program in animal disaster response.

 

Our Team

  • Brandy Duhon, DVM (LSU 2013), Instructor, Veterinary Clinical Sciences
  • Mustajab H. Mirza, MS (LSU 1998), DVM, Clinical Assistant Professor, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Large Animal Operations, LSART
  • Neely Walker, PhD, Equine Specialist, LSU AgCenter
  • Renee Poirrier, DVM (LSU 1988), CVA, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Private Practitioner, Acadiana Veterinary Clinic, Director, LSART
  • Cindy Meeker, Certified Farrier, CRM Farriery, Slaughter, LA, Logistics/Operations, LSART
Aerial view

Large-Scale Responses

  • Tropical Storm Allison – 2001
  • Hurricane Ivan – 2004
  • Hurricanes Katrina & Rita – 2005
  • Hurricane Gustav – 2008
  • Deep Water Horizon Gulf Oil Spill - 2010
  • Mississippi River Rising – 2011
  • Hurricane Isaac - 2012
  • Great Louisiana Flood - 2016
  • Tornado Response - 2017
  • Hurricane Michael - 2018
  • Hurricane Laura - 2020
  • Hurricane Ida - 2021
Aerial viewimage of Hurricane Katrina from space