Historically, the overall number of hurricanes has remained relatively the same year-over-year, but in the last two years we hit record highs
Additionally, we’re seeing higher category storms that unleash swift and unmitigated devastation on the United States and Caribbean communities. Flooding, often as a result of catastrophic hurricanes, is the most common natural disaster, comprising nearly half (43%) of recorded events around the world. IFAW deploys where needed, when needed.
The climate is changing at a rapid and unsustainable rate. Rising sea levels, record droughts and warming air and water temperatures have led to catastrophic destruction in the form of more intense tropical cyclones. Called hurricanes in the Atlantic and typhoons in the Pacific, tropical cyclones are increasing in unpredictability and intensity making preparation difficult… sometimes impossible.
When a natural disaster strikes, our first impulse is to get people to safety, and many of us also immediately think about protecting animals: pets, livestock and wildlife. But during a hurricane, it can be difficult to evacuate animals and provide them with shelter, food, and veterinary services without a clear preparedness plan.
IFAW knows every hurricane has three parts: before, during and after.
Before hurricanes hit, IFAW relies on decades of expertise and local partnerships to ensure that animals are included in disaster planning. We better position governments, communities and families to consider the welfare of the entire population - human and animal - when disaster strikes.
IFAW trains animal rescue partners, building local capacity to prepare for and respond to disasters when and where needed. When hurricanes strike, highly-trained teams lead and assist in everything from rescue to reunification and wildlife rehabilitation.
IFAW teams stay on the ground long after the hurricane passes to help communities recover, rebuild and plan for future disasters.
Since 2005, IFAW’s Disaster Response team has responded to 47 hurricanes with boots on-the-ground and hundreds more with remote guidance and support. IFAW mentors partners and teams across the globe, helping to create and implement preparedness and response plans, make connections with industry partners, source supplies and build confidence so local groups are better prepared the next time disaster strikes.
Now, communities on every continent save Antarctica have concrete plans in place to consider animals in their disaster preparedness, response and recovery plans.
Additionally, IFAW provides critical emergency grants to help feed animals, repair impacted shelters, rehabilitate injured or orphaned wildlife, and reunited pets with their families. IFAW also provides lifesaving veterinary care for community animals, livestock and wildlife.
IFAW knows that environmental indicators predict a continually warming climate which means more frequent and severe natural disasters. While we focus efforts on tactical solutions to keep communities safe, we’re focused on nature-based solutions to reduce human impact on the natural world.
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The problems we face are urgent, complicated, and resistant to change. Real solutions demand creativity, hard work, and involvement from people like you.