Good Emergency Management Practice: The Essentials

Good Emergency Management Practice: The Essentials
Feb 2012

Good Emergency Management Practice: The Essentials - A guide to preparing for animal health emergencies is one of FAO’s GEMP publications, focused on preparedness.

Planning for emergency disease eradication or control programmes cannot be left until a disease outbreak has occurred. An animal disease emergency can have serious socio-economic consequences. If a new disease can be recognized quickly while it is still localized the chances of eradication of the disease are markedly enhanced.

Preparedness programmes for animal disease emergencies provide the key to mounting early effective action in the face of an emergency. In fact, these programmes should be recognized as one of the important core functions of national animal health services.

Preparedness planning, including the development and approval of contingency plans for identified high-threat diseases, enables animal health services to be far better technically equipped to cope with a disease emergency. There are other benefits. Farming communities are also more likely to cooperate in an emergency disease-control programme if they see that quick, decisive action is being taken that ultimately will benefit them and that their contributions and inputs were considered during planning and review.

Contingency plans are often prepared against specific diseases that are considered to represent the greatest threat. However, contingency plans also enable animal health services to respond quickly to entirely unanticipated disease occurrences because the same general epidemiological and disease-control principles and systems that were developed for specific diseases can also be applied in any new situation.