Earlier this month the ZAHP Fusion Center helped facilitate regional preparedness meetings in South Carolina (including North Carolina and Georgia) and Florida as a continuation of the effort to improve coordination and communication in response for the Exotic Animal Industry.
These meetings provided an opportunity for facilities in the region to come together with representatives from state and local agencies to discuss how our industry can better coordinate with emergency management and each other to improve preparedness and response moving forward. Agency presentations covered jurisdictional authority and resource availability, industry professionals spoke about lessons learned and the unique challenges facilities may face in disasters, and break out groups gave neighboring facilities the opportunity to discuss concerns and capabilities with relevant agency representatives. Feedback from these meetings has been overwhelmingly positive with facilities and response agencies alike noting benefits.
A special thank you to Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in Columbia, SC and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in Tampa, FL for hosting these events!