Disaster training part of Foundation's mission

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Emergency preparedness is on many people's minds, as spring and early summer can be some of the worst times for natural disasters. Peak tornado activity occurs from April to July, and hurricane season officially begins June 1.

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation is once again sponsoring disaster-related training sessions this year to help veterinarians and emergency officials anticipate for the worst.

In 2008 and early 2009—because of grants from the Foundation—the Delaware VMA, Florida VMA, Massachusetts VMA, New Jersey VMA, and Utah Emergency Animal Response Coalition held conferences and symposiums related to emergency sheltering and medicine to prepare veterinary practices and clients for potential disasters.

These AVMF-funded state, regional, and national sessions are aimed at ensuring emergency preparedness for the assistance and veterinary care of animals before, during, and following a natural or man-made disaster. Up to $5,000 is available per session, with the AVMF to sponsor up to six in 2009.

Awards are based on merit and availability of funds, and no more than one session per year is funded per organization. The deadline to apply is April 30.

The application is available at www.avmf.org under "Grant Seeking." For more information on the application or training sessions, contact Monique Buonincontro, AVMF grants coordinator, at (800) 248-2862, Ext. 6691, or mbuonincontroatavma [dot] org (mbuonincontro[at]avma[dot]org).