With the ongoing concerns and response to the flooding across the country emergency preparedness and response continues to remain in the forefront of many of our members’ and the publics’ minds. Last week I had the opportunity to highlight the importance of the veterinarian’s role in food safety and security as well as addressing household pet issues at the Naval War College’s Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief Conference. The mission of the NWC’s HA/DR Conference was in part to “fully engage scholars and practitioners in the field to ensure that coordinated resources mean improved outcomes”. Last week’s conference was a kick off to year-long working groups who are scheduled to complete their work and reconvene next spring.
This week AVMA VMAT leadership is participating as part of the Pets Multi-Agency Coordination Unit at USDA APHIS headquarters in Riverdale, MD. National Level Exercise 2011 (NLE 11) is a White House-directed, Congressionally-mandated exercise that includes the participation of all appropriate federal department and agency senior officials, their deputies and staff; and key operational elements. NLE 2011 is designed to test and exercise U.S. capabilities to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from a catastrophic earthquake in the New Madrid Seismic Zone of the Central United States.
You can participate in discussions on disaster animal care in the NLE by registering and joining a group at CentralUS.resiliencesystem.org and following us on Twitter @AVMAVMAT (we are using the hashtag #NLEpet to track this discussion).