The GAAP, along with 5 other organizations – including our partners from IFAW– were recognized by website OneGreenPlanet for their work assisting animals during disasters. The list, titled “6 Amazing Groups Dedicated to Saving Animals in Disaster Situations” was posted last week by the sustainable living website.
Having our headquarters in Chile, preparedness and emergency planning are not only a priority for the organization but a necessity. Chile is incredibly prone to disasters; from earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, to floods and massive fires, disaster is a permanent concern for Chileans. The geography, weather and lack of organization and appropriate preparation plans conspire to create a complex scenario for the people and their animals when catastrophic events occur.
In 2010, The GAAP traveled to Dichato, a community that was devastated by the 8.8 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit Concepción that year to help manage the animals after the disaster. A couple of years later the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) teamed up with the GAAP and so the IFAW/GAAP partnership was born and, along with local authorities and organizations they began actively working on preparedness plans and animal assistance for disasters. The partnership joined efforts to help with animals during crises, such as the great Valparaiso fire in 2014 and the Copiapó floods in 2015.
The partnership is currently working in Pucón, where volcanoes are the most imminent threat. The IFAW/GAAP partnership aims to offer animal assistance and response when disaster strikes, as well as educating communities about the importance of including animals in preparation and emergency plans.