IFAW conducts Emergency Relief training in Canada
Posted by IFAW Emergency Responder - Deb Gleason
Twenty-five extraordinary individuals who share a common concern for the fate of animals in disasters in Canada joined Dick Green and I for a two day training session last week. We came together to develop goals and common ground for how to handle animals in case of a disaster in Canada, and more specifically, in Ontario. The group was comprised of representatives from the Ontario SPCA and several of their affiliates, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the Toronto Wildlife Centre, Social Services, the Canadian Red Cross as well as local emergency managers and municipal leaders.
Participants were introduced to the world of disasters and in particular, to what IFAW has done internationally to help animals in distress. IFAW’s 36-foot response trailer was on site and participants were given a tour of the trailer. Through this, the participants saw first-hand how our Emergency Response team communicates with the outside world while responding to a disaster, as well as where they meet, eat and sleep.
Disaster assessments, training and equipment, coalition building and lessons learned from past disasters were some of the key areas that were covered. The highlight of the session was a massive table top exercise where the participants had to problem solve their way through a mock large disaster that put thousands of animals in peril. The good news is that not only did they learn a lot about the challenges they would face in a disaster involving animals, they were successful in identifying key issues as well as rescuing and sheltering animals throughout the scenario.