Extreme weather events have wreaked havoc across the southern United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean. In the U.S. Virgin Islands, hurricanes have torn apart communities, destroyed infrastructure, and created crises of significant scope for people who call the islands home.
But it isn’t only the people who are suffering. Community animals like cats, dogs, domestic livestock, and working animals who depend on humans can suffer greatly through these incidents, despite the best efforts of their owners or families. Even wildlife, who often are adept at managing through such scenarios, need a helping hand with injury, or accessing resources and shelter. But they have hope in the form of emergency response teams from the International Fund for Animal Welfare, or IFAW. According to their website, IFAW leads, funds and provides assistance to animal rescue groups to assess disaster situations, formulate plans, and take action. They also provide food, equipment, medical supplies, and emergency expertise to help rescue, provide care, and when safe to do so, reunify pets with their families and/or return wildlife to the wild.
Defender Radio was fortunate to be joined by Res Krebs, a communications expert for IFAW who deployed with emergency response teams to the U.S. Virgin Islands earlier this month. In an interview with Defender Radio between planning sessions and his next deployment, Res talked about the emergency response program, what it was like seeing the devastation to the islands and the communities, and how we can all help in recovery efforts and preparedness for the people, and the animals.
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