Disaster Planning - An
Important Insurance Against an Unpredictable Future
Recently, Maryland experienced a
magnitude 3.6 on the Richter Scale earthquake in a state that
normally does not experience earthquakes. We were fortunate in
that the damage was minimal to non-existent, although this event
did highlight an important point about disasters – they occur at
anytime, anywhere and often when you least expect them. And
while we in Maryland don’t see many earthquakes, we do live with
flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, freezing weather, snowfall and
the possibility of terrorism events in our state. In considering
the disasters that could affect your practice, don’t forget
about the smaller scale events such as disease outbreaks and
fires, which, while not a state disaster, can be a personal and
professional catastrophe. Any of these situations could affect
or even destroy your practice and all of the time, money and
hard work you have invested in building it. Are you prepared?
The MVMA Disaster Committee and the
Maryland State Animal Response Team (MD SART) would like to help
you prepare yourself and your practice for the types of clinic
and regional disasters that might affect you. To that end, we
have set four goals for every MVMA member practice. These are:
Development of a written
Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) for every practice in
Maryland. This is a individualized plan you would develop
for your practice that details how you would conduct your
business if your normal location were damaged or destroyed.
Development of a written
disaster plan for your staff and the animals on your
premises. This plan will detail what you would do with your
staff or the animals to lessen the effect of the event on
them or to recover from it.
Development of written advice
that you can share with your clients about preparing their
animals for their personal and area emergencies.
Have MVMA members get involved
with the MVMA disaster committee, MD SART, the MD State
Voluntary Veterinary Corps and/or other animal disaster
planning and response groups.
We need your help! Get involved in
the MVMA disaster committee and MDSART and help Maryland’s
Veterinarians help themselves and the people and animals in
For more information or to join the
MVMA Disaster committee or MDSART, please contact MVMA Disaster
Committee: Dr Jacob Casper
443-394-1449, or MDSART- Dr Sarah Balcom-
An organization is only as effective as its membership.
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Association of American
Veterinary Medical Colleges