The CARES Unit resides within the Emergency Preparedness and Response Section of the Animal Health Branch in the Animal Health and Food Safety Services Division of CDFA. The CARES Unit provides assistance to the California Emergency Support Function 11 Food and Agriculture. To meet animal disaster related responsibilities, CDFA leverages the CARES Unit to coordinate State agency response in support of local government and with the assistance of volunteer organizations. CARES is structured in accordance with the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) and National Incident Management System (NIMS).

Our Mission

To collaborate with response agencies to build capabilities and coordination that protect the safety of animals during the four (4) phases of emergency management.

What We Do

CARES is a system that provides operational guidance to assist with all aspects of animal care in the event of a disaster or emergency with the assistance of agencies and volunteer organizations.

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SEMS Infographic showing the flow of information and the coordination and control during an incident which includes State Operations Center (SOC), Regional Emergency Operations Center (REOC), County (Emergency Operations Center (EOC)), Local Government (EOC and/or Department Operations Center (DOC)), Incident Command Post (ICP), and Incident. 
				The state of California shows a better understanding of the coordination during an incident with Incident, Local, and Mutual Aid Regions (Inland Region, Coastal Region, and Southern Region) mapped out.

Public Information

  • Volunteering - Learn how to become a volunteer in your community.
  • Disaster Preparedness - Local preparedness and emergency operation plans, disaster preparedness information and resources.

Local Government Resources and Tools