Disaster Preparedness

Are you ready?

Although the risk of some natural disasters is lower in New Mexico compared to the rest of the U.S., New Mexico does have disasters that occur each year including:

  • Drought
  • Wildfires
  • Flooding
  • Winter storms and extreme cold
  • Power outages

Emergency response starts on the local level. You and your family, including the four-legged family members, have to be prepared before you can help your community.

Preparedness for Pets

Preparing Makes Sense for Pet Owners

When disasters occur both people and animals are affected. Surviving an emergency such as a fire or flood, tornado or terrorist attack depends largely on emergency planning done before the disaster or emergency occurs. Therefore, it is important to develop plans in advance. If you have to evacuate your home, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND! Pets usually cannot survive disasters on their own. Furthermore, pets that are not evacuated with their owners may become lost or be difficult to find after you return. Keep in mind, some animals may not be allowed inside human shelters; therefore, plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets. Consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency.

Here are some tips!

  • Assemble an animal emergency supply kit
  • Develop a pet care buddy system including someone who is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so
  • Plan for transportation in the event of evacuation
  • Properly ID your pets
  • Know how to administer first aid to pets

First Aid Tips for Pet Owners – The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) website offers first aid tips.

Pet First Aid – American Red Cross

For more information visit:
AVMA : Saving the Whole Family
AVMA Disaster Preparedness-brochures and websites
AVMA TV-Informative video on disaster preparedness
FEMA: http://www.ready.gov/caring-animals

Clinics and Livestock

Before Disaster Strikes!

Conduct a risk assessment

Create an emergency plan

•       Personnel roles and responsibilities
•       Emergency relocation of animals
•       Medical Record back-up
•       Continuity of Operations
•       Security
•       General emergency planning
•       Fire prevention
•       Insurance and Legal issues

Practice and exercise the plan

Know evacuation and shelter location

Examples of local disasters
Municipal water supply or power to practice is interrupted
A fire occurs at a business next door, your business is evacuated
A technician accidentally drops a bottle of halothane

Examples of regional disasters

A wildfire threatens your town and the entire county is ordered to evacuate
A flash flood and thunderstorm results in impassable streets and loss of power, clean water supply is disrupted
Severe weather necessitates supplemental feeding; however, roads are not drivable
For information on developing an emergency plan for veterinary clinics please download the: AVMA Emergency Preparedness & Response Guide


NM Website Resources

New Mexico Department of Health Family Emergency Preparedness Guide

New Mexico Animal Disaster Plan (PDF)

New Mexico Dept. of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (http://www.nmdhsem.org/)

List of Emergency Managers by County


New Mexico Emergency Management Association



Southwest Border Food Safety and Defense Center


Other Website Resources
Volunteer Opportunities

The NM Medical Reserve Corps is always looking for veterinarians and technicians.
Please contact Bobbie MacKenzie at (505) 476-8302 or bobbie.mackenzie@state.nm.us

AVMA Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams

New Mexico Commission for Community Volunteerism