Disaster and emergency preparedness and response are important issues to the AVMA. Animals are impacted by the same disasters and emergencies as humans - natural, manmade, large, and small. Whether it's a hurricane or tornado, a flood or earthquake, a chemical leak or an act of terrorism, veterinarians are vital to response and recovery efforts during and after disasters. We also play an important role in promoting and aiding preparedness efforts, to limit the impact of disasters on both animals and people.
The veterinary community also needs to be ready for possible animal disease emergencies and disasters because of the critical role veterinarians play in ensuring the safety of livestock and our nation's food supply. For this reason, the AVMA encourages and fosters veterinary leadership in local, state and federal efforts to deal with "all hazards / all species" within the United States – preparing for disasters and emergencies involving animals, animal and public health, and other veterinary issues.
Providing expertise and guidance on the subject as well as complementing the VMAT program, the AVMA established the Committee on Disaster and Emergency Issues in 2001 to:
The AVMA also has created a wide range of written materials, podcasts, videos and other resources to assist veterinarians and their clients with disaster preparedness and response. Please use the Quick Links section above to help yourself and your clients be better prepared for the possibility of a disaster or other emergency.