Volunteer FAQs

If you HAVE NOT registered with one of the SMART teams, you cannot deploy as a SMART volunteer. The State
of Massachusetts Animal Response Team reserves the right to turn away any non-registered volunteers
during a disaster. Deploying yourself independently causes risk to your own liability and safety. Often times
well-meaning individuals end up causing more chaos in an already hectic situation. Our volunteers are
required to register and complete SMART training.

How can I join SMART?
If you are interested in joining SMART, please visit the How to Volunteer page. If you are unsure which team is
appropriate for you, please check out the team pages

What type of training is required for SMART volunteers?
Our volunteers are required to sign a Code of Conduct, fill out a registration form and complete ICS 100
(Incident Command System, Level 100), NIMS 700 (National Incident Management System, Level 700) and
Animals In Disasters. This involves a couple of hours to download the tests, read the materials and take the
test.  These courses are free and can be found at:
http://training.fema.gov/IS/  Individual teams may require
additional training.

What happens if I am injured while volunteering with SMART?
Please read over our liability and legal FAQs. Click HERE.

Can I be sued while volunteering with SMART?
Please read over our liability and legal FAQs. Click HERE.

Once I become a volunteer how will I know when I can help in a disaster?You can only
deploy with the team you are registered with.
 (Example:  A Search and Rescue volunteer cannot deploy with the
Veterinary Services team)   
Your team leader will deploy you if you are needed.  You cannot self deploy using the
name SMART.  Any use of the SMART name/logo without authorization from your team leader will result in
loss of membership.

Do I have to deploy during a disaster?
Membership is VOLUNTARY, but proper registration is mandatory.  No one is required to work with the team
during a disaster.

How can I help in my own community?
Contact your local Emergency Management Director and Animal Control Officer to see if there is an
established group of volunteers that is addressing animal issues in your community.  If not, offer your support
and assistance in organizing that effort.  You might even inquire on your own to see if there are any hotels in
the area that are pet friendly. Keep that list with you as part of your own personal emergency disaster plan.

How can I find out if my community has an animal disaster plan?
Each community in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has a Community Emergency Management Plan.
Contact your local Emergency Management Director to see if there is a plan in place that addresses the
animal component, such as evacuation and sheltering of pets.

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