Disaster Preparedness | LSU School of Veterinary Medicine




    Disaster Preparedness and Response

    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 SVM 2013), Instructor, Veterinary Clinical Sciences

    Mustajab H. Mirza, MS, DVM, Clinical Assistant Professor, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Large Animal Operations, LSART

    Neely Walker, PhD, Equine Specialist, LSU AgCenter

    Renee Poirrier, DVM, 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

    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


    Your gifts can help our disaster preparedness programs (e.g., training) and rescue and care for animals after a disaster. #PowerofParticipation

    Give Now


    Animal Responders Train for the Next Big Storm on 10-year Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina


    Give to the LSU SVM/LSART Partnership Designate funds for the LSU/LSART Disaster Support Fund