Created to bridge the gap in communication between the managed wildlife community and the emergency management sector, the Zoo and Aquarium All Hazards Preparedness, Response and Recovery (ZAHP) Fusion Center is a USDA-funded initiative that works to disseminate critical information on prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery to the managed wildlife community while developing new partnerships with federal agencies, local and state emergency responders, and private sector groups concerned with animal welfare and emergency management.

Getting Started 

Click here for information and resources that will help you if you are are just starting  your planning process

Resource Management and Cost Tracking

Whether your facility is directly impacted by a disaster or you are responding to another in need, documentation is very important.

Contact Us

We want to hear from you! Click here if you have questions for ZAHP or would like to join our mailing list

ZAHP Chat: A Discussion on the Ongoing Response to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

On November 30th the ZAHP Fusion Center hosted a ZAHP Chat discussing recent events through the perspective of USDA/Animal Care,  with speakers who responded to various affected areas.  The call included a brief “FEMA Disaster Assistance 101” as well as a question and answer portion.  A recording of the call can be accessed here:



Questions?  Contact us! 

ZAHP Updates

  • January 17, 2018

    DHS Commercial Facilities Resources, ZAHP Chat Recording, and Excellence Beyond Compliance

    The new year is the perfect time to revisit or begin your preparedness plans! In this update you will find an audio recording of our most recent ZAHP Chat as well as information on how to join the next “Ask Animal Care” call organized by Excellence Beyond Compliance, and resources from the Department of Homeland Security’s Commercial Facilities Section to help your facilities prepare for risks such as armed attacks, cyber-attacks, and more. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions about any of the resources included here or on the ZAHP website, or have questions about moving forward in your overall planning process. Suggestions of content you would like to see in the future, and information on preparedness programs at your facility that you may like to see highlighted are also encouraged!

    Department of Homeland Security Commercial Facilities Resources

    The Commercial Facilities sector includes a diverse range of sites that may draw large crowds, including zoos and aquariums. Various sector collaboration mechanisms, resources, and training materials have been developed by DHS to support facility owners and operators in increasing security and resiliency of their facilities in preparation for various threats such as the following identified trends and emerging issues: armed attacks, cyber-attacks, supply chain disruptions, explosive devices, unmanned aircraft systems, natural disasters, and extreme weather. More information can be found on the Commercial Facilities Sector Fact Sheet and in the links below:

    · DHS CF Sector Home Page: 
    · CF Sector Training:
    · CF Sector Resources:
    · Business Continuity Planning Suite:
    · Active Shooter Preparedness:


    ZAHP Chat: A Discussion on the Ongoing Response to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

    On November 30th the ZAHP Fusion Center hosted a ZAHP Chat discussing recent events through the perspective of USDA/Animal Care, with speakers who responded to various affected areas. The call included a brief “FEMA Disaster Assistance 101” as well as a question and answer portion. A recording of the call can be accessed here:

    ZAHP Chat:A Discussion on the Ongoing Response to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

    Excellence Beyond Compliance

    EXCELLENCE BEYOND COMPLIANCE: Enhancing Animal Welfare Through the Constructive Use of the Animal Welfare Act seeks to leverage the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), its “minimum standards,” and all AWA-related processes to bring out the best in zoological professionals, zoological organizations and others in fostering AWA compliance, enhancing animal welfare and promoting organizational excellence. Excellence Beyond Compliance regularly schedules “Ask Animal Care” calls where zoological professionals are encouraged to submit questions for USDA representatives. The next call is scheduled for January 25, 2018 at 3:00PM EST and will feature the following speakers: Bernadette Juarez, Deputy Administrator USDA Animal Care; Elizabeth Goldentyer, DVM,Associate Deputy Administrator, Animal Care; and Robert M. Gibbens, DVM, Director, Animal Welfare Operations. Those interested in joining the call can register and submit questions be emailing by January 18, 2018.

  • November 20, 2017

    How Feral Swine Affect the Exotic Animal Industry

    The range of feral swine is increasing across the United States. Originally brought over by early explorers, swine are an old world species not native North America. Over time swine that have escaped or been released into the wild have bred and increased the overall population; and while they are the same species, these wild animals look very different from pigs raised on modern farms.

    While feral hogs can cause tremendous property damage to lawns, golf courses, and wildlife habitat, The Fusion Center’s concern rests primarily in their potential as disease vectors. As their range spreads, consider how this would affect the spread of a Foreign Animal Disease. If Foot and Mouth Disease were to emerge in this country in a region where feral swine may become reservoirs, eradication of the disease would be difficult if not impossible. There are an estimated 6 million feral swine in at least 35 states with a high concentration in Texas and California. For reference, please see the 2016 Map of Feral Swine Populations by County : .

    USDA/Wildlife Services conducts disease surveillance activities on feral swine, often in cooperation with State wildlife agencies. The goal of this surveillance is to understand the prevalence of different diseases of concern; those diseases that impact agricultural species or to humans.

    The Fusion Center recently spoke with Dr. Jennifer McDougle of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Dr. McDougle reported that surveillance of feral swine in California has historically shown evidence of pseudorabies infection in these animals, and that recent surveillance has shown an expansion of pseudorabies and brucellosis detection. This increase in brucellosis is very concerning, as it is a zoonotic disease.

    It is advised that you do your best to protect your collections from contact with these animals wherever possible. This includes understanding the risk associated with using these animals as a food source, such as carcass feeding for carnivore enrichment. Employees and volunteers that have contact with or live close to sites where feral swine are within 20 feet of their property should be made aware of the risks and biosecurity through PPE and foot baths should be utilized. Consider isolation and blood testing of new swine additions for pseudorabies and brucellosis.

    To learn more about pseudorabies and brucellosis, great references can be found at the American Association of Zoo Veterinarian’s Infectious Disease Manual
    Or the Iowa State’s Center for Food Security and Public Health
    Feral swine activity can be reported to the USDA using the phone number 1-866-4-USDA-WS.

  • October 1, 2017

    Potential Recovery Resources

    The ZAHP Fusion Center has become aware of some potential resources of assistance (included below) for facilities beginning the long road to recovery from Hurricane Irma. Please note, it is always a Best Practice to discuss liability and compensatory issues in any conversations with individuals providing assistance.  This is true in our industry and others as well. 

    We continue to try and assist you where we can during these trying times for our industry.

    For Volunteers

    • Volunteer Florida – Through the Fusion Center’s relationship with the State Emergency Operations Center, we have found a point person with Volunteer Florida, part of the Volunteer Organizations Assisting in Disasters (VOAD).  Volunteer Florida has thousands of volunteers across the state assisting with hurricane relief on some level.  As critical needs for the public are being met, we believe it may be a good time to connect to this organization to see if there is interest in assisting zoological facilities, aquariums, sanctuaries and wildlife rehab centers in basic clean up and recovery tasks.  If your facility may benefit from the assistance of volunteers please contact Ashley Zielinski or Yvonne Nadler with the following information:
      • Name and address of the location requesting assistance
      • List specific needs/tasks that could be accomplished by volunteers.  Photos may help.
      • The name of the POINT PERSON at the affected facility, and their contact information. The Volunteer Florida folks will need to have a facility point person to discuss possible assistance.  ZAHP doesn’t deploy these folks, but we can get needs on their radar screens
      • NOTE: these people are not animal experts, if you are in need of animal care relief, please contact us under a separate email.

    Recovery Resources

    • S. Chamber of Commerce
    • Resource Management and Cost Tracking
      • Basic information provided by Dr. Kevin Dennison,  National Emergency Management Staff Veterinarian, USDA-APHIS Animal Care; includes supplemental resources. 

    Grant Opportunities

    • Animal Grant Makers
      • Gateway to numerous philanthropic organizations committed to supporting animal-related causes. 

    Additional Tools

    • Amazon Wish List
      • This is a great tool to use to get what you need without losing the money you spend on unnecessary fees, admin costs or shipping.