Source: dvm 360

Natural and manmade disasters can severely impact veterinary hospitals, patients, and clients. To ensure preparedness, Veterinary hospitals and shelters should develop and annually update a written emergency plan and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for disasters. Staff and volunteers must be familiar with these plans to manage crises effectively. Coordination with local authorities is essential, as many areas have designated shelters for pets during evacuations. Training opportunities from organizations like ASPCA and FEMA can enhance readiness.

Veterinary hospitals should also build a volunteer foster network for pets when shelters are full and identify at-risk clients needing assistance. The PETS Act requires local and state authorities to include pets in evacuation plans, emphasizing the need for Veterinary coordination. Financial considerations include the ability to provide free services during disasters and ensuring staff are compensated. Necessary resources include generators, medical supplies, and emergency contact lists. Educating clients on pet disaster preparedness, such as microchipping and assembling pet go-bags, is crucial for ensuring the safety and well-being of both pets and their owners during emergencies.

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