Latin America is a hotbed of natural disasters – earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, mudslides and fires all occur regularly. Combined with a lack of protective legislation for animals, the post-disaster chaos leaves no room for the provisioning and care of injured or homeless pets, livestock and wildlife.
In Chile, response activities immediately following the disaster are under the umbrella of the national disaster agency. With no concrete plan, this has resulted in massive influxes of well-intentioned but inexperienced volunteers to disaster sites.
Sadly, their attempts are uncoordinated. There are non-veterinarians practicing medicine and surgery, there is no plan for receiving or distributing donations, there is no procedure for connecting owners with lost pets. Moreover, there are no facilities to house injured/abandoned animals, and volunteers put themselves at extreme risk in very dangerous settings, leading to fatalities.
Our Disaster Response
We recognize a critical need to coordinate the post-disaster animal response in Chile, and to develop a model for helping animals and responders in these situations, across Latin America.
Our objectives are to work closely with local and national governments to develop appropriate plans for animals and to create a network of trained response professionals.
Emergency Response Network (ERN)
Using the lessons learned following Hurricane Katrina, we are developing a network of professionals along the length of the country that are interested in coordinating efforts among animal organizations, veterinarians and universities. We seek out those who are interested in receiving the necessary training in the incident command system to lead an effective response.
Public Policy & Co-ordination.
Through the formation and growing reputability of the ERN, we are meeting with top officials in the countries disaster response agency. The objective is to develop a formal agreement to bring animals under the umbrella of their response thereby authorizing the control of the animal response to the ERN.
We provide internationally renowned training courses to individuals that will be recognized as responders in disasters.