Disaster Preparation Reflections

Disaster preparedness is important for all animals, but especially for equids because of their large size, behavior patterns and types, and the requirements for transporting them.
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Disaster Preparation Reflections
The simulated rescues were exciting and fun, but what really mattered was learning knowledge and skills that could be crucial in a real emergency. | Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

By Claudia Sarti, CVT

I love my job working for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health as a field research analyst in zoonotic diseases. I recently attended–in my capacity as certified veterinary technician (CVT)–a three-day seminar at the Forget-Me-Not Farm in Tinmouth, Vt., on the rescue of large animals in disaster situations. The seminar was presented by Drs. Tomas and Rebecca Gimenez of Clemson University in South Carolina, in association with the Rutland Area Humane Society. It was designed for the benefit of horse owners, fire departments, animal rescue personnel, veterinary technicians, and other interested parties.

We listened intently during the slide show and presentation on the equipment and methods used in an emergency, as well as the dos-and-don’ts of large animal rescue, and if necessary, how to humanely euthanize a critically injured animal. Later, participants went outdoors for live rescue demonstrations. With the assistance of the Gimenez team, my partner and I were able to draw some interesting parallels between large animal emergency preparedness and human public health emergency preparedness–particularly the impact on disease control. With that food for thought, we have been able to help pilot new networks between state agencies dealing with human health and services and animal health and resources

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4 Responses

  1. re: Disaster Preparation Reflections

    A word of caution:  Be careful or avoid riding in areas where houses are being constructed.  Treches dug for drainage and then filled in can become quicksand if a heavy rain covers the ground.  Riding into one of these almost cost me my

  2. re: Disaster Preparation Reflections

    Thanks for re-posting this article –  Claudia did such a nice job on the report – and not much has changed – except that MANY more people are starting to get an education in disaster preparedness – especially horse owners, veterinarians, and anima

  3. re: Disaster Preparation Reflections

    I would just like to add that since this was written in 2005, IS-195 has been replaced by IS-100.b Introduction to Incident Command System, ICS-100. The Emergency Management Institute Independent Study Courses can be found at

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