Animal Health Update: Issue 12


Issue 12

Emergency Preparedness for Veterinarians and Owners is a Year-Round Concern


September was Emergency Preparedness month and even though we have wrapped it up for the year, it’s important to remember that emergency preparedness should be considered every day. 

Emergency preparedness is the process of developing a plan and obtaining supplies to ensure you, your family and your animals are taken care of during and after a disaster. This kind of all-hazards planning includes planning for the many disasters that can occur (power outages, flooding, evacuations, tornadoes, etc.). Preparation is essential to recover after a disaster.

Veterinarians must be especially prepared because they will often be asked to provide support to their clients after a disaster. Keeping your family and animals safe will be your first responsibility; however, you may be considered a community resource. Clients may need urgent pet medical care and will look to you for help. If you already have your family and animals cared for, you will be better positioned to help your clients after a disaster.

Veterinarians play a crucial role in disaster recovery by:

If you would like more information about how you can prepare for disasters, reference the American Veterinary Medical Association’s webpage and their Emergency Preparation and Response Guide for Veterinarians. You can also help your community and family plan their emergency response using the “All-Hazards Preparedness for Rural Communities” book created by the Multi-State Partnership for Security in Agriculture. Most of all, encourage your friends, family and clients to prepare for themselves and their animals.

Hot Topic:

Survey for Veterinarians Regarding Harmful Algal Blooms 

The Ohio State University, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ohio Department of Health, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Michigan and Ohio Veterinary Medical Associations, is asking for Ohio and Michigan veterinarians to complete a short survey. The aim of the survey is to assess veterinarians' knowledge and practices related to Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs), commonly known as blue-green algae toxicosis in animals. The results of this work will help address the needs and concerns of local veterinarians. The survey will be available until November 15, 2016, at

Visit the CDC's website for more information on HABs.

Program Spotlight:

Emergency Preparedness Program, Dr. Nancy Barr


The emergency preparedness program at MDARD strives to be ready to respond to major reportable animal diseases. Our preparation, response, recovery and mitigation plans must be continually evaluated and improved upon. Diseases like highly pathogenic avian influenza or foot and mouth disease require swift actions in order to prevent spread. An effective response will include veterinarians, industry, diagnostic laboratories, communications specialists, extension specialists, state and federal response agencies and many others. As the program manager for emergency preparedness for the Animal Industry Division, I must liaison with these partners to develop cohesive and effective response strategies. It is also critical that our staff keeps up with federal response plans and guidance documents. Michigan’s private veterinarians are the front line when it comes to identification of potential foreign animal diseases and for educating their clients about the importance of reporting. Prompt notification of suspected reportable animal disease is the first critical step in ensuring an effective response. MDARD is grateful for the cooperation and professionalism of our private veterinarians in our shared effort to promote animal health in Michigan.

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Contact the Animal Industry Division:

Constitution Hall
525 West Allegan Street
6th Floor, P.O. Box 30017
Lansing, MI 48909


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