Emergency planning: AVMA tools help you prepare for disasters

Published on September 03, 2020
Landscape view of wildfires in hills behind homes

Disasters can occur anywhere and at any time. If we didn’t know it already, 2020 has shown us the powerful impact they can have on us both personally and professionally. Fortunately, we can minimize the effects and repercussions of disasters by being prepared.

September is National Disaster Preparedness Month, and it’s the perfect opportunity to make sure your practice is prepared in case of an emergency. AVMA is here to help, with a new webpage, CE module, and other tools.

Our webpage on emergency planning for veterinary practices lays out the critical steps you can take to prepare your practice for an emergency or disaster before one occurs.

They include:

  • Identifying risks or hazards your practice might face
  • Quantifying the impact these risks may have on operations
  • Determining how to overcome or mitigate potential risks
  • Assessing resources you might need in an emergency
  • Developing an emergency plan
  • Practicing and improving the plan

In addition to AVMA guidance, you’ll find resources to help you complete each step.

One is our downloadable Guide to writing a veterinary practice emergency/disaster plan. This workbook helps practice owners and managers make emergency planning decisions that help you safeguard your business. It includes space for you to add information related to your practice, and it can be updated as often as necessary.

The CE webinar Disaster and business continuity planning introduces some of the essential elements of a business continuity plan to protect yourself when disasters happen, and how to create or enhance one for your practice. It’s free for AVMA and Student AVMA (SAVMA) members and offers 1 hour of continuing education (CE) credit.

Tools for clients

National Disaster Preparedness Month also is a time to encourage clients to prepare for the unexpected. These resources will help animal owners protect their pets and livestock during a disaster:

Find more information about disaster planning and emergency preparedness at avma.org/Disaster.


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