September is National Preparedness Month, and this year’s theme is “Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Disaster Preparedness Plan Today.” Each week in September will have a different preparedness theme, culminating in National PrepareAthon! Day on September 30. Now is a good time to assess how prepared you, your family and your business are for a disaster. If you have a disaster plan, review it and update it. And if you don’t have a disaster plan, now is a good time to make one.
There have been several disasters in the news lately – Tropical Storm Danny in Puerto Rico, fires in the western United States, and recent severe weather in the Midwest, plus the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. All of these events reinforce how important it is to have a disaster preparedness plan in place for your family and pets, as well as your veterinary practice. The AVMA has information for veterinarians to plan for their practices, and information they can share with animal owners.
Our Disaster Preparedness for Veterinary Practices brochure contains information about making a disaster plan for your business, and our resource page has additional information for veterinarians. The AVMA’s Saving the Whole Family Brochure in English or Spanish has information about making a disaster plan for pets, including emergency kits. If you already have an emergency kit, take this opportunity to replace any outdated supplies.
As a veterinarian, you play an important role in helping your community prepare for disasters by encouraging your clients to get prepared and have a disaster plan that includes their animals. If you’re looking for other opportunities to get involved, help your community with its disaster plan, or volunteer for your local or state veterinary response team.
For more information about National Preparedness Month, visit ready.gov/september.