The International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDR) is celebrated every 13th of October to promote a global culture of risk awareness and disaster reduction. The day also highlights the role communities play in reducing their own exposure, and that of their animals, to disasters. Effective disaster risk reduction requires the participation of all stakeholders, including the government, the animal sector, and the community.
Disasters can strike at any time, and often with little warning. This can be devastating for animals who are unable to evacuate or take shelter on their own. As an animal owner, it's important to be prepared in case of disasters and know some quick tips for disaster risk reduction on your animals.
Using Disaster Early Warning Systems to Reduce the Impact of Disasters on Animals
Disasters are real and their effects are always felt by both animals and humans. With the climate changing, so are the frequency and intensity of disasters. Floods and prolonged droughts are increasingly common. They have a huge impact on animals, resulting in millions of deaths, year in and year out.
There are several ways to reduce the risk of disaster to animals. We at Action for Protection of Animals Africa (APAA) focus on promoting a culture of preparedness and using disaster early warning systems to reduce the risk of disasters on animals. Here is a list of things you need to do as an animal owner, so as to reduce the risk of disasters to animals:
Keep animals safe from the start. This means building sturdy shelters and making sure they’re well-ventilated and have plenty of room to move around.
Keep animals up-to-date on their vaccinations as it helps protect them from diseases that could be spread during a disaster.
It’s important to keep animals confined in a safe area during a disaster. This helps prevent them from getting hurt or lost in the chaos.
Keep an emergency kit for your animals that includes food, water, and any necessary medications. These may come in handy if you have to evacuate or are without power for an extended period of time.
Be familiar with your animal's behaviour and know what signs to look for that indicate that they are stressed or frightened. This can help you better care for them during a disaster.
Have an evacuation plan and practice it with your animals, as it can help them stay calm during an evacuation and reduce the risk of them getting lost or injured.
Ensure your animals have identification tags with your contact information on them to ensure that you can be reunited with them if they get lost during a disaster.
Keep an eye on weather reports and evacuate early if necessary to allow yourself time for getting your animals to safety before a disaster strikes.
Keep collars and leashes easily accessible so you can quickly grab them if you need to evacuate.
Finally, keep your animals calm during a disaster. This can be difficult, but keeping them calm will help reduce the stress on them and make it easier for you to care for them in an emergency situation.
Call to Action
On this International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with natural disasters and take steps to reduce those risks in order to protect yourself and your community. Take advantage of this day to make sure you are prepared for whatever mother nature may bring.