Disaster Planning and Response Resources

The following resources are available to assist PHS awardee institutions with animal care and use programs in planning and responding to natural and other disasters.

COVID Pandemic Planning

Disaster Planning



  • Disaster Preparedness for Veterinarians Link to External Site, American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA): AVMA disaster preparedness program assists veterinarians, animal owners, and others interested in the well-being of animals to prepare for animal safety in the event of a disaster.

Publications and Reports

  • ARENA/OLAW Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee Guidebook, 2002 (Excerpt - Word): Section B.6. Emergency Preparedness: B.6.a) Security and Crisis Management - developing a crisis management team, conducting a risk assessment, and establishing a communication network; and B.6.b) Disaster Planning - developing an emergency management program and implementing a disaster plan.
  • Focus on Disaster Preparedness Link to External Site, Lab Animal 2013; 42(10): This issue helps to address the challenges of disaster preparedness for animal facilities.
  • Disaster Planning and Management Link to External Site, ILAR Journal 2010; 51(2): This issue presents lessons learned by colleagues who experienced different types of disasters, both natural and deliberate, in varying animal-related settings.
  • Disaster Recovery, Lab Animal 2002; 31(8):27-30: When dealing with recovery from a disaster, PHS- funded animal research institutions have certain responsibilities to the NIH. The authors of this article outline these responsibilities and identify areas in which federal offices can aid the affected institution in the recovery effort.
  • Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, 2011: Sections on Disaster Planning and Emergency Preparedness (Guide, p 35 Link to External Site) and Emergency, Weekend, and Holiday Care (Guide, pp 74-75) Link to External Site.
  • Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching, 2010: Sections on Emergency, Weekend, and Holiday Care and Emergency Plans (Ag Guide  Link to External Site - PDF; see pp 22-23).
  • Guidelines for the Depopulation of Animals Link to External Site, AVMA, 2019: Recommendations to help veterinarians support animal welfare in situations where the difficult decision to depopulate has been made.
  • Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer , 2017: Report from the National Academies is available from the National Academies Press Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer and the NIH National Academies Collection.
  • The Threat of Extremism to Medical Research Link to External Site, 2014 (PDF): Report from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) on best practices to mitigate risk through preparation and communication.


  • Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR) Guide to Disaster Preparedness Link to External Site (PDF), University of California at Davis: Useful information about developing a disaster response plan, disaster preparedness training, and resource availability. DANR offers information, animal care procedures and emergency-related forms that show many types of disaster preparedness activities in which promote community involvement. Check references listed in this guide for more detailed information on disaster preparedness and emergency response.
  • Lessons Learned (Word): Compilation of U.S. Public Health Service Commission Corps Veterinarians' findings/recommendations as a result of efforts to rescue laboratory animals following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in September 2005. Lessons Learned describes considerations for disaster planning, immediate response, and recovery efforts.
  • Lessons Learned from Katrina, Rita, and Their "Sisters:" Evacuating, Euthanizing, Rescuing, and Rebuilding - PRIM&R/ARENA 2006 Annual IACUC Conference (Workshop Handout - PDF). Moderator: Axel Wolff. Panelists: Laura Levy, Lessons Learned From Katrina (PDF). William Stokes, Disaster Planning for Laboratory Animal Facilities .pdf).
This page last updated on: Sep 2, 2022
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