Be disaster aware; take action to prepare

September is National Preparedness Month, and this year’s theme is “Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare.” This is a good time to review’s four building blocks of emergency preparedness: Be Informed, Make a Plan, Build a Kit, and Get Involved.

Be Informed
Know about the hazards that could affect you and your community. Is your area prone to flooding? Are wildfires a threat? Are there any hazardous materials near where you live or work? Do you know what to do before, during and after a disaster?

Make a Plan
Create a disaster plan for yourself, your family and your animals. The AVMA’s Saving the Whole Family Brochure in English or Spanish has information about making a disaster plan for your animals. The AVMA’s Disaster Preparedness for Veterinary Practices brochure contains information about making a disaster plan for your business. The AVMA website has links to additional resources to help you develop a plan for your veterinary practice.

Bulid a Kit
Make a disaster kit for yourself, your family and your pets. If you have a kit, make sure you take it out and replenish any perishable items. Saving the Whole Family has information on making emergency kits for your animals.

Get Involved
As members of the veterinary profession, you can get involved by helping your community prepare for disasters by encouraging your clients to get prepared and have a disaster plan which includes their animals. Other ways to get involved include helping with disaster planning in your community or volunteering for your local or state veterinary response team.

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