Responding to Sandy: Veterinarians Playing a Critical Role

It’s been nearly a month since Hurricane Sandy morphed into a superstorm and lowered the boom on cities and towns all along the East Coast. While time has passed, much recovery work remains, and the AVMA and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation are continuing their efforts to lift both the spirits and the fortunes of those affected by the storm.

Even before Sandy made landfall, the AVMA and the AVMF were reaching out in anticipation of how we could help and where our efforts were needed most. Today, after days and weeks of collaboration and coordination, we can humbly say that we are making a difference.

For an update on the storm’s effects on veterinarians, pets and pet owners, as well as a look at the AVMA’s and the AVMF’s ongoing efforts to assist victims of the storm, we invite you to read a report from JAVMA news reporter Malinda Larkin. You can also keep abreast of other storm-related news by visiting the @Work blog’s Disaster Preparedness web page and the AVMA Veterinary Medical Assistance Team Twitter feed.

One takeaway message from Sandy is that many more people were prepared for this storm than they were for Hurricane Katrina seven years ago. As Malinda writes in her JAVMA story, “an important lesson practitioners can take away from this disaster is that a veterinary clinic has to be prepared to shelter and care for animals in an emergency with generators, potable water, and a disaster plan, among other things.”

If you’re looking for disaster preparedness and response resources for both your clinic and your clients, visit the AVMA Disaster Preparedness for Veterinarians web page.

As Patricia Costello, administrator for the New York City Veterinary Emergency Response Team, said in Malinda’s article, “You’re no use to anybody if you can’t help yourself. It’s not very hard to take a few steps to be prepared. You’re better able to help clients, and everyone recovers quicker.”

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