Have you thought about what would happen to your pets if you were ever caught in a natural or man-made disaster? Who would come and take care of them?
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) actively works on disaster preparedness and rescue and response to help animal that are affected by disasters in the U.S. and around the world. In 2014, IFAW and the GAAP created a formal alliance committed to working together on this issue in Chile and throughout South America. Many people already know that Chile is a country at very high risk for natural disasters: earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes eruptions are common and expected to happen. Everybody is quite aware of these risks, but local communities are not necessarily prepared to properly respond to an emergency when peoples’ animals are involved. When forced to make the decision to leave their pets or livestock behind, people will often refuse to be evacuated.
Last week, the IFAW Animal Disaster Response team arrived in Valdivia, Chile, to work together with the GAAP staff on a full week of workshops and scenarios surrounding topics of Incident Command System, disaster and volunteer management and emergency sheltering. This training and practical theory will form the basis for providing an appropriate and effective response when another disaster strikes in Chile.
The IFAW-GAAP partnership is working hard to establish a network of partners throughout Chile so that animals won’t be forgotten victims when the next natural disaster strikes.