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  News from the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association                                                    Summer 2010

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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Development of written advice that you can share with your clients about preparing their animals for their personal and area emergencies.

  4. 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 their communities.

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- 757-348-3499
An organization is only as effective as its membership.

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Maryland SART

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