Helping with Injuries

April 11, 2012

It can be frightening to be the individual in control of caring for a volunteer who has suffered an injury in your animal rescue, but here are a few easy steps to assist you in knowing what to do if you’re in that position. First and foremost, make sure the person is breathing.  Next, DO NOT shift the hurt person except for if there are additional risks such as a fire. Finally, if a seizure takes place, rotate the individual on their side and eliminate all objects around them that could be grounds for injury. BY NO MEANS PUT ANYTHING IN THE MOUTH OF A INDIVIDUAL HAVNG A SEIZURE. Keep in mind, if there is a obvious injury or the person is unconscious, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Prior to an event, all potential emergencies should be considered and an action plan should be formed for all. An Emergency Response Team (ERT) and crisis management plans should be created. There should be a director of the ERT and all other associates need to know who this is in the occurrence of an emergency because that individual makes the knowledgeable choice concerning how to act.  A petite event will merely require two individuals who are first aid and CPR certified, but a bigger and elevated risk event will need more experienced medical workers. All staff and volunteers must know how to get in touch with the ERT in case of emergency. If there is a cooking location, a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, and flashlight must be accessible close by. If there is a great crowd, a prior to the event call to a fire department may be a wise decision in case of a fire.

 

Last week we provided you with the first six steps to producing a crisis management plan for your Animal Welfare Organization.  Have you finished these steps thus far?  If you have not or if you overlooked that post make sure you read it in combination with today’s steps.

  •  Practice communicating throughout a disaster by outlining key crisis communication documents. A summary statement explains what occurred, what you’re doing, and how the organization feels. CAREFUL the press can bend your words when they examine this. A question and answer information sheet can be supplied to the representative, so obscured information isn’t released.
  •  Plan a media kit and outline a media contact strategy. The media kit offers background information on your organization, and the media contact strategy is a preparation to keep media informed during an incident.
  • Evaluate your insurance program instead of supposing you’ll be sheltered during a crisis.
  • Create a crisis response team.
  • Document your strategies in a Crisis Management Manual in an easy and straightforward reading format.
  • Analyze your presentation before the crisis has faded away.

The trick to surviving an emergency is to prepare for it so you are not caught off guard if a crisis occurs. There are twelve steps to help you carry on through a crisis but six will be discussed today.

  1. Recognize situations that could be the reason for a crisis in your facility. This may be past occurrences, incidents other similar organizations have undergone, affairs with other organizations, and the nature of your services and clientele.
  2. Produce an index with all contact information for all staff and volunteers.
  3. Get proper support for your computer, software, and databases at least weekly.
  4. Perform an inventory of your animal welfare organization’s assets including equipment, furnishings, records, and software.
  5. Find a legal adviser nearby that you can call upon on a regular basis for advice.
  6. Devise a crisis communication procedure by answering, who, how, what, and who. Who will verbalize for your nonprofit? How will the mission be explained? What will you use to contact employees? Who will be responsible for contacting key personnel?

These are first 6 steps to helping your Animal Welfare Organization survive a crisis, make sure you revisit next week for the final steps.