National Preparedness Month emphasizes disaster planning

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September is National Preparedness Month, and veterinarians are encouraged to do their part to help clients and community members learn about hazards and what to do with their pets, horses, or livestock in an emergency.

AVMA Disaster Preparedness materials (CD, brochure, booklet)

National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is an annual campaign that encourages individuals and organizations take action to help Americans prepare for disasters.

The theme for this year’s National Preparedness Month is “Pledge to Prepare,” and the aim is to give information on the simple ways that individuals, organizations, and businesses can fulfill the pledge and become better prepared for potential disasters this year.

One way to become an information resource is to join the National Preparedness Coalition by registering at

Coalition members can be service or membership organizations, nonprofits, medical facilities, colleges and universities, businesses or companies, or science organizations.

The website also has a “Caring for Animals” page at that has a wealth of information on disaster planning and preparedness. In particular, there is the client brochure “Information for Pet Owners,” for which the AVMA was a production consultant.

Veterinarians should consider developing an emergency plan for their practices if they haven’t already. Plenty of resources for businesses are located at Plus, the AVMA has a brochure titled “Disaster Preparedness for Veterinary Practices” available for download. Visit, click on the “Store” link and then the “Disaster Preparedness” link. Additionally, the AVMA maintains a disaster preparedness page at that includes detailed disaster-planning resources for small and large animals.