The Greenbelt Community Animal Response Team's (GCART) mission is:
- To provide our community with animal-related emergency response during disasters and local emergencies;
- To ensure our volunteers are trained and ready to provide community animal response, such as temporary sheltering of displaced animals through ongoing training, exercises and drills;
- To educate the public about disaster preparedness for their animals.
GCART is closely affiliated with the Greenbelt Community Emergency Response Team (GCERT). GCART participates in joint training and exercises with GCERT as well as with other regional and municipal CERTs.
In the event that the City of Greenbelt enters into a memorandum of understanding with an Animal Disaster Response organization, such as Red Rover, GCART is available to support and assist with the organization's response as requested.
During a large disaster, GCART volunteers are trained to:
- Operate under the Incident Command System;
- Secure animals running at large;
- Check incoming animals for microchips;
- Place temporary collars on the animals with unique ID numbers;
- Triage animals;
- Set up a temporary shelter (set up caging, special needs areas, and supplies);
- Perform or assist with shelter operations;
- Perform registration and animal intake, and other record-keeping as requested;
- Provide public outreach and information concerning animals;
- Assist in the reuniting of displaced pets with their families;
- Coordinate animal transfer to County or Federal temporary or permanent shelters as necessary during prolonged events; and
- Close the temporary shelter and store and maintain equipment and supplies for the next emergency or disaster.
During a local, smaller emergency, GCART volunteers are available to assist Animal Control and first responders with:
- The intake of displaced animals;
- Triage of animals and first aid;
- Temporary shelter operations, including setting up a temporary shelter if necessary.
- Assist with reuniting pets with their families;
GCART members who are not providing community animal response during a disaster or local emergency are available to perform basic CERT response with the GCERT, as they will have completed the basic CERT training.
- Participate in community events;
- Provide a comfort station for animals including pet first aid, during community events when requested;
- Educate the community about making emergency plans for their pets ;
- Network with local animal organizations, including veterinary clinics;
- Network with other CART groups through local, regional and national conferences, training courses and exercises; and
- Solicit donations of equipment and supplies.
- Prepare and support GCART volunteers by providing them with initial and forward-going training, animal-related equipment and supplies.
- Provide CART specific, Just-in-time training to spontaneous volunteers during disaster events.
- Join the Maryland Animal Emergency Network (MAEN).
- Obtain the sponsorship of a local, licensed AKC Club to obtain a companion animal mobile equipment trailer (CAMET) through the AKC Pet Disaster Relief Fund.
- Maintain sheltering equipment and supplies necessary for a successful animal emergency response to a disaster or emergency.
- Provide community animal response during emergencies and disasters.
- Provide ongoing training opportunities and exercises to support community animal response.
- Participate in GCERT training opportunities and encourage GCERT to participate in GCART training.
- Participate as a CART in regional training exercises and drills.
- Partner with local veterinarians, rescue groups and other animal-related organizations and groups, including Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC).
- Host community education events for the general public featuring topics such as animal disaster preparedness, sheltering, and animal rescue response.
- Communicate actions and activities on a regular basis with stakeholders and the public via social media, educational events, city news outlets and displays at public events.
- Encourage the City of Greenbelt to enter into a memorandum of understanding with a national animal disaster response organization.
- Provide potential CART volunteers with a GCART application and require that volunteers complete the following training:
- Basic CERT Training (Provided by Prince George's County. This training includes an introduction to ICS.)
- Recommend that volunteers take the following courses:
- IS 10.a – Animals in Disasters: Awareness and Preparedness (available online)
- IS 11.a – Animals in Disasters: Community Planning (available online)
- Red Cross Human and Pet First Aid Courses
- Provide volunteers with Psychological First Aid training.
- Identify and partner with local veterinarians, rescue groups, and other animal-related organizations.
- Identify possible locations suitable for temporary sheltering.
- Provide educational events for the community.
- Use a Facebook page, and other social media, to inform the public and stakeholders about upcoming GCART activities, training opportunities, and exercises.
- Participate in local community events, displaying and distributing information about the purpose of a CART and animal disaster preparedness.