Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Sciences

Document Type



The Gulf Coast hurricanes of 2005 necessitated the development of a guidance document concerning emergency preparedness and response for veterinary clinics and hospitals. The aftermaths of the largest natural disasters in United States' history, namely Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, brought to light the need for a protocol designed specifically for veterinarians and veterinary practitioners. Disaster management information was synthesized and modified to be subject-specific for the veterinary community. This synthesis resulted in the creation of the Veterinary Emergency Preparedness and Response (VEPR) manual and website. Two types of data were collected to develop the emergency protocol; interviews with veterinarians and staff and site visits to affected clinics and hospitals were conducted to gather primary data for inclusion in the preparedness and response document, and preexisting information concerning disaster management from an array of sources was compiled and reviewed. A preliminary manual was provided to affected individuals for feedback and input and the subsequent comments were formatted and incorporated into a final protocol recommendation. Two deliverables resulted from the current study including a hardcopy VEPR manual and website based on the information from the manual, The guidance document provides pertinent information for pre-hurricane planning, weathering the physical storm, and post-hurricane recovery. Together the manual and website facilitate the widespread distribution of the emergency recommendations to the veterinary community and are expected to be a comprehensive source for specific disaster management materials. The VEPR manual and website are resources that can be used as tools to mitigate damaging affects, particularly to lessen the post-disaster burden on the staff and operations of veterinary clinics and hospitals. VEPR provides a foundation for the development of viable emergency preparedness and response protocols for other types of natural disasters. Updates of VEPR will be needed so as to assure that the recommended protocol continues to be timely for national and global applications.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Ralph Portier