Thu | Jun 4, 2020

Animals Should be Included in hurricane preparedness - advocate

Published:Friday | June 8, 2018 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer
Jasson Muir Clarke, global communications and media officer of the World Animal Protection.

A call has been made to ensure that animals are equally safe and given safe spaces during the hurricane season, which began in June 1 and ends on November 30.

Jasson Muir Clarke, global communications and media officer at World Animal Protection, a non-profit organisation based in Costa Rica, told The Gleaner yesterday that a major objective of the entity was to move the world to protect animals.

"We focus mainly on four areas, which include animals and disaster. This is a big area for us. Right now, we have a team in Guatemala that is dedicated to protecting the animals that were affected by the recent volcanic eruptions," he reported.

"A big part of our work is prevention, and the best situation we can hope for in a disaster is one where owners are ready to protect their animals before the hurricane happens. The best disaster is that which doesn't happen.

"We can protect animals by having an evacuation plan, taking them out of a vulnerable area to a safe location, and having provisions such as an emergency kit with food, water, and medication," Muir Clarke said.

He said that during his short visit in Jamaica, he expects to build strong partnerships, with the aim of strengthening animal protection in the island.

"If we take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves, why wouldn't we do so with our animals?" he asked.

"Vaccination is very important and so, too, is having ID tags because you will be much more certain that you can retrieve your animal once it is lost or misplaced during a hurricane.

"The hurricane season is a very big season for us because we know that there will be superstorms in the region. We are currently monitoring superstorms in the Caribbean and Asia so that we can know what vulnerabilities there are and where we are going to need to provide assistance," Muir Clarke said.

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com