Advance Access

Natural and man-made disasters lead to hundreds of millions of dollars in economic losses annually worldwide. Veterinarians are most qualified to support local, state, national, and international efforts in emergency management. However, they may lack the knowledge and advanced training to most effectively plan, prepare, and respond. Currently, only two colleges offer training embedded in their core veterinary curriculum. In this study, a survey was conducted to gain an understanding of veterinary practice and practitioner preparedness for natural and man-made disasters in the United States and Canada, with questions assessing pandemic preparedness. The participants graduated from 28 American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)–accredited veterinary colleges globally and 2 non-accredited veterinary colleges, represent a diverse set of veterinary practice types, and have an average of 26 years’ practice experience. Overall, 63.5% of veterinary respondents had experienced a natural disaster, while only 9.6% had experienced a man-made disaster. Approximately 66% report having a practice disaster preparedness plan, while less than 20% of those actively maintain and update the plan. Furthermore, less than 50% of the practices and practitioners were ready to face the challenges of a global pandemic. Approximately 68% reported using some form of communication to educate clients about family and pet disaster readiness. Many felt that some advanced disaster readiness training would have been helpful in their veterinary curriculum. Our findings indicate that additional training in the veterinary curriculum, as well as continuing education, would help veterinarians and practices be better prepared for natural and man-made disasters.