2016 Safety Summit – Omaha, NE

animal care and welfare

Held as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Mid-year Meeting, the ZAHP Fusion Center worked with the AZA Safety Committee to present on two topics at this year’s Safety Summit: active shooter scenarios, and flooding events.

A flooding event can completely devastate a zoo or aquarium, with the potential for loss of life of visitors, staff, and/or animals, loss of revenue, and millions in damages. With hurricane season on the horizon, there is no time like the present to take measures to ensure your facility is prepared for a flood. At this year’s Safety Summit participants were able to hear from colleagues who had dealt with severe flooding events at their facilities, each illustrating the varying circumstances that led to their flooding events as well as the unique challenges that arose in their response efforts. Later presentations focused on long-term response and recovery with additional focus on financial considerations. Presentations were followed by a tabletop exercise where participants were walked through a flooding scenario to assess how their facility would respond.

The Safety Summit also hosted presentations on active shooter events. These presentations included the introduction of basic concepts that could help a wildlife facility prepare for and respond to an active shooter incident, as well as testimonials from two contrasting institutions on how they prepare their facilities such situations. Concepts introduced included “ run, hide, fight” , the Department of Homeland Security’s guideline on how an individual should respond in an active shooter situation, and “Stop the Bleed” , a national campaign started to empower citizens to take action to prevent deaths from blood loss. A list of suggestions for first aid supplies that can be used to aid victims suffering from significant blood loss was also provided.

Select resources from the Safety Summit, as well as a copy of the flooding tabletop exercise are included below.

Flooding Resources:

Active Shooter Resources: