News reports and images of the massive fires raging across California are shocking and disturbing. The Carr Fire, which erupted in northern California more than a week ago, already is among the 10 most destructive fires in California history, destroying nearly 1,000 structures and claiming several lives.
Unfortunately, with the fire less than 30 percent contained and weather conditions hot, dry, and windy, it’s expected to get worse before it gets better.
Our hearts go out to the thousands of people and animals affected by these wildfires. The American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) has been in contact with several animal clinics in the area, and they've indicated that the situation is very serious. They are not only inundated with emergency cases, but also caring for animals that residents could not take with them when evacuating on a moment's notice.
If your veterinary practice was in a similar situation, who could you turn to for help?
As the AVMA’s charitable arm, the AVMF proudly offers:
- Grants to veterinarians to ensure emergency medical care of animal victims
- Relief grants to help veterinarians and veterinary students who have a need for basic necessities due to a disaster
The AVMF will help as many of our colleagues as possible, but we need your support! Please consider making a donation today to the AVMF Disaster Relief Fund. Just go to avmf.org/donate and use the AVMF Code “Disaster Relief” when filling out the donation form.
You also can help by making sure that colleagues who may be affected by these wildfires or other disasters know about these important AVMF grant programs. Since September 2017, the AVMF has provided more than $250,000 in relief and reimbursement funds to AVMA members and others who lost essential items or delivered emergency support during natural disasters.
Disaster preparedness for veterinarians and animal owners
Wherever your clinic is located, these wildfires are a reminder of the importance of disaster preparedness. There’s no better time than now to create or review your disaster plan, and to talk with clients about how to ensure they’re prepared to rescue their animals along with themselves. Below are resources you can use for your own emergency preparedness and for conversations with clients.
Veterinary preparedness and response resources:
Information to share with clients: