This document provides a brief introduction to tools that assist in understanding the cyclical interlinkages between environmental management and disaster risk reduction.
While these tools are an adaptation of existing environmental management tools applied to integrating environment and disaster risk reduction, many other tools also exisit, developed by specific organizations and institutions.
Creating an environmental profile (EP) of an area or community is a first and critical step in understanding the interactions between the local environment and disaster vulnerabilities it faces. An 'environmental profile' (EP) provides a systematic overview of the development, environment and disaster setting, and institutional arrangements of an urban area, which is designed to highlight the environment-disaster interactions, the critical issues, and the sectors and stakeholders directly concerned with them. In this tool, a brief introduction to the social, economic and physical features of the city is made. Eco and Hazard Mapping (EHM) is a visual tool that creates an inventory of environmental assets of an area or community, and the vulnerabilities and risks it faces. Eco and Hazard Mapping (EHM) is a systematic but simple method of conducting an on-site environmental review by collecting information which shows the current situation using pictures and maps. EHM has been an effective, systematic means of inventorying environmental practices and problems, communicating environmental issues to urban residents, engaging them in environmental practices, and implementing action at the local level. EHM is a very visual tool that uses plans and maps of buildings and neighbourhoods to identify and mark the environmental aspects of the urban setting, and the potential hazards and risks that they pose.
Environmental Risk Assessment is a systematic analysis of the likelihood that the environment will experience a specified level of harm as a result of a natural disaster or a planned human activity. ERA is a well developed and systematic tool that provides the necessary information to take decisions that will mitigate and reduce the risks faced by vulnerable communities – whether from man-made aspects (such as chemical accidents or development projects) or natural aspects (such as earthquakes and tyhpoons). Environmental Impact Assessment is a formal process used to predict the environmental consequences of a project or an event. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a structured procedure designed to help ensure that projects and programmes are environmentally sound and sustainable. It allows informed decision making on the action to be taken, and establishes a monitoring and environmental management regime for implementing mitigation measures, monitoring impacts for compliance and ascertaining if impacts are as predicted. The EIA tool, well known for the assessment of development projects such as a dam or a complex of factory buildings, can also be used for disaster planning and management.
Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is a process to ensure that significant environmental effects arising from disasters are identified, assessed, mitigated, communicated to decision-makers, monitored and that public involvement is ensured. Strategic Environmental Assessment is a systematic process for evaluating the environmental consequences of policies, plans, programmes or proposals, to ensure that they are addressed early in the decision making process and on par with economic and social considerations . Undertaking SEAs can also contribute to sustainable development goals, promote accountability and credibility among the general public and specific stakeholders, and lead to broader policy coherence. For simplicity, SEA can be broken down into different activities conducted alongside the development of disaster mitigation plans or programmes, and consideration of alternative options. Stage A: Local authorities needs to consider the availability of background information and propose objectives and indicators for the SEA. Stage B: Local authorities decide the likely scope of the environmental report, and what level of detail to be examined. Stage C: Local authorities assess the likely effects on the environment of the evolving plan, and its alternatives.
An Environmental Management Systems (EMS) is a systematic way to ensure environmental issues are managed consistently and systematically. It sets out environmental policies, objectives and targets for the implementing organization, with pre-determined indicators that provide measurable goals, and a means of determining if the performance level has been reached. Integrating environment and disaster dimensions in local planning processes is a complex mix of consultation, dialogue and monitoring involving all critical stakeholders, particularly the vulnerable communities. Having stakeholders review their own plans to ensure a coordinated response, and identify lacks and gaps. Identifying resources needed, making necessary changes to improve plans, and integrating them into an overall community plan. Educating and training participating groups about the integrated plan, including emergency responders. Ultimately, a multi-stakeholder knowledge sharing mechanism at the local level goes a long way in ensuring that all aspects of the local environment are considered in disaster mitigation and preparedness plans. Inventorize institutional and individual knowledge gained from responding to the tsunami disaster by developing a database of strategies, policies, programmes and projects being undertaken. Channel scarce funds to appropriate and critical areas that need them, by networking with communities and organizations to enable matching offers and requests. Post-disaster situations are equally important in integrating and interlinking environmental aspects with disaster management. UNEP, "Environmental Risk Assessment: A Practitioner's Guide" United Nations Environment Programme, 2003. Do Formal Inspections Ensure that British Zoos Meet and Improve on Minimum Animal Welfare Standards?
Simple SummaryDisaster preparedness for companion animals has economic, social and welfare benefits, yet many countries continue to omit dogs and cats from their national and regional contingency planning. Description of the objectives of regional and local preparedness plans with examples of potential components. Description of the ground response immediately following a disaster with examples of typical operations. Description of the recovery period following the acute disaster phase with examples of typical activities.
AcknowledgmentsThe authors thank the numerous volunteers that contributed time and logistical support to this response, and to the community of Dichato for their participation and commitment to helping the dogs. Clipping is a handy way to collect and organize the most important slides from a presentation. A strategy for the reinforcement of medical response teams to conduct triage can facilitate the prioritization of medical care delivery.  The shelter at the George R.
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRCRDS).Disaster emergency needs assessment.
Each of the tools provide different methodologies and results, and enable different decisions to be taken. Examples include UNEP's APELL and UNOCHA's FEAT (See the Tools section for more information). The city's various sectors, their characteristics, use of environmental resources and impact on environmental resources are mentioned under ‘Development Setting’. It covers a range of issues, including information on the current situation, problems areas, water, sewage, soil, air, energy, waste, etc.
Due to the simplicity of this inventory process, multi-stakeholder participation is easily enabled.
Risk is the likelihood that a harmful consequence will occur as a result of an action , including those from natural or man-made disasters. The use of ERA in environmental planning and management is fast becoming a standard practice, either as a stand alone procedure or as a support or complement to an EIA. It calls for the clear identification and formulation of the problem and characterize the risks posed as a result. Like the ERA tool, it enables informed decision making on the development of a city, but also in preparing for disasters (whether natural or man-made), and in monitoring and evaluation of the action taken. Applied to disaster management, it also helps in understanding the environmental consequences of pre- and post-disaster activities.


Effectively applied, an EMS can help integrate environmental considerations within a larger disaster management plan. Due to its complexity and wide scope, a multi-stakeholder partnership that plans, implements and reviews programmes is absolutely important. Responses therefore, are often chaotic, inefficient and uncoordinated, or absent altogether. IntroductionThe chaotic atmosphere following disasters is an extremely charged environment both physically and emotionally for affected community residents, local governments as well as for incoming humanitarian and rescue teams [1,2]. Data Collection During DisastersFortunately animal response teams are often quick to act following disasters.
The authors also wish to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their comments on this article.
Over 30 district collectors participated, making presentations on best practices to overcome challenges faced in the sectors of rural development, education, urban development, law & order, and disaster management. Brown Convention Center in Houston, TX was staffed with doctors, nurses, ER Physicians, critical care specialists, and paramedics from the nearby University of Texas Health Sciences Center who delivered care to Hurricane Katrina victims based on their acuity (Reilly, 2008). Geographical Information Systems (GIS) have not been included here since they are too numerous for the purpose. It also facilitates post-disaster recovery and reconstruction by providing a baseline against which plans can be developed. ERA determines the potential impact of an action on ecosystems, habitats and other ecological resources, and on human health and well being. It calls for the instituting of a risk management plan that is periodically reviewed, and the results and decision properly consulted and communicated to all key stakeholders. Monitoring also enables future predictions to be made more accurately and provides baseline information for future plans. Documented experiences in Chile contribute to the information supporting the inclusion of companion animals into locally relevant disaster plans. Infrastructure is often affected at least to some degree and logistical difficulties in executing operations are expected.
Yet, uncoordinated responses can delay well-intended operations, can render them less efficient and efforts can be duplicated or absent. This work was supported in part by the Rapid Response Fund Request from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, and the Cesar and Ilusion Millan Foundation. To supplement staff needs, the Texas State Department of health issued temporary licenses by reciprocity to out of state clinicians (Reilly, 2008).  This helped minimize the shortage of medical providers at the San Antonio shelter and other temporary facilities areas that provided medical care. Powerpoint presentation slides chapters 1-7 available via Moodle from New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York. WHO-WPR Emergency Response Manual: Guidelines for WHORepresentatives and Country Offices in the Western Pacific Region. The process is continuous because an EMS is a process of continual improvement where it is constantly reviewed and revised.
These plans serve to prepare communities and authorities, identify resources available, establish a chain of command, develop local priorities, and subsequently reduce the negative impacts on both human and animal communities.
Supplies, equipment, medical treatments and facilities for people and animals, personnel, as well as funds to support response activities can be difficult to mobilize on short notice [2]. Despite the uncertainties and the immediate difficulties faced following these disasters, one thing we know for sure is that they will continue to occur, and are likely to increase due to environmental and climatic changes [3].
Large-scale disasters might make international news for a few minutes to weeks at the most, yet the effects on the ground last for years. Collection of information during the response and recovery phases allows planners to identify weaknesses in the existing response, evaluate and improve upon their plan and identify additional risks. Preparing for and responding to disasters is one of the greatest challenges facing the international community [4]. Data generated provide a basis from which local governments as well as other regions and countries can learn from and improve or expand their own plans and responses. The economic, social, physical and emotional drain on societies is immeasurable and unfortunately a vast majority of disasters occur in low and middle income countries of the world in which resources to cope with large scale upheavals are limited [4,5].
They also provide a basis for disaster research needs by identifying gaps in our knowledge or understanding. Others lose their homes, their possessions, their pets and their livestock, leaving them vulnerable and often with no livelihood [7]. Incoming volunteers often lack experience in the recognition of endemic diseases, therefore record-keeping is of paramount importance in preventing misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatments [26,27]. Information collection from shelter inhabitants and other community members provides information on individual damages, pet loss or abandonment, livestock deaths, and ability to maintain original or new sources of income. We report here on the difficulties encountered during a canine veterinary response following the 2010 earthquake and tsunami, and draw parallels to an earlier report of a human medical response in the 1985 earthquake. Although reporting on internal problems and inefficiencies may be interpreted as a failure, the information is extremely valuable for response improvement [1]. This report focuses on domestic dogs specifically because of these authors experiences gained while responding to a canine distemper virus (CDV) outbreak following the disaster; however domestic cats are of equal importance when considering companion animal planning.
Using these examples from Chile, we demonstrate the importance of pre-planning and response coordination, and the value of reporting on the persistent difficulties to improve the response following disasters.
Medical Response—1985 EarthquakeOn 3 March 1985, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit central Chile [8,28]. Companion Animals in DisastersThe predominant literature available regarding animals and emergencies describes contingency planning in the event of outbreaks or introductions of disease with international trade importance [10]. This earthquake was by no means the largest or most significant earthquake in Chile; however a paper published a year after the earthquake by the Chilean Ministry of Health details the response and the problems encountered by health professionals. Yet in recent years the inclusion of companion animals into national disaster preparedness plans has become more prevalent. This progressive and frank account describes the investigators’ objectives, that included collection of information about injuries, mortalities, and weekly reporting on the incidence of typhoid fever and hepatitis, and the obstacles encountered in meeting these goals.
This is in part due to studies conducted during or after disasters that have articulated the significant negative impacts on communities in the absence of plans that include household pets. Although they emphasize that the immediate response by individuals was effective and generous, and medical professionals showed unbelievable abilities to adapt and deliver care under compromised conditions, they also experienced a host of problems that hindered their ability to accurately report on the disaster.
Investigators identified a lack of interest in scientific investigation, a lack of reporting of experiences gained, and a general apathy and complacency observed as time lapsed.
These greatly reduced their ability to accurately report on the post-disaster effects and maintain the momentum for ongoing research as time progressed [8].
Risks of emergence of zoonotic and other infectious diseases following disasters have been reported by Ivers and Ryan [16], Ketai et al. Lessons learned from the May 2008 to present eruption of Volcan Chaiten, Chile: Emergency management, evacuation, welfare and recovery. In Proceedings of the 2010 Cities on Volcanoes Conference, Canary Islands, Spain, 31 May–4 June 2010; p.
Plans are focused on saving human lives and at times organized animal rescue operations are forbidden to enter disaster areas [22].
Animals are at much higher risk than people because they are not the priority following disasters [7].
Planning the ResponseWe consulted with other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to gain an appreciation of the local situation and immediately solicited emergency disaster funds.


Human and pet-related risk factors for household evacuation failure during a natural disaster. They are subject to abandonment or loss, a lack of food and water, absence or inadequate sheltering, injury, disease and entrapment, the magnitude of which depends on the location, severity of the disaster and availability of contingency plans and resources to cope [7,20]. A preliminary visit was planned to confirm the tentative diagnosis of CDV and to initiate a vaccination campaign in seven neighborhoods where the majority of the residents were housed or living in temporary camps. We formed four teams consisting of a veterinarian, one to two veterinary students to assist and restrain dogs and one record-keeper. The result is proactive preparation for disasters and detailed planning of the response that is tailored to the location (Figure 3). Objectives of the field activity and study, along with the protocol were given in advance to all volunteers and team leaders. There is a multitude of state and provincial plans from higher income countries available online, some including companion animals. A biosecurity and safety information package as well as a veterinary supplies kit and cooler for vaccinations and blood samples was prepared and delivered to each team upon arrival on-site. However, there are few follow-up accounts evaluating the efficacy of these plans [1,23] or details of the long term recovery (Figure 4). Numbered medical records using a standardized format for recording physical exam findings were given to veterinarians and vaccination records were prepared for owners. This kind of information would serve to improve existing plans and offer guidance to those in the process of developing new preparedness strategies for companion animals. A second visit repeating the protocols for physical exams and vaccination was conducted a month later. Furthermore, these available plans may only be relevant to “resource-rich” countries [5] where shelters, veterinary services, equipment, supplies and trained personnel are already available. In countries where many of these inherent services and facilities are absent, or the management of animals is dramatically different, disaster planning must reflect the culture, needs, resources and abilities of individual communities. Difficulties within the TeamCommunications and pre-planning is complicated following disasters, and we experienced difficulties within our own veterinary teams. Broken bond: An exploration of human factors associated with companion animal loss during Hurricane Katrina. Internet and phone lines were only intermittently available which reduced our internal ability to plan site visits and confirm volunteer help. Public transportation and travel complications such as poor condition of highways, detours, and restricted access to gasoline complicated our travel plans. Personnel safety, lodging, food and water, and appropriate refrigeration of vaccines and blood samples also had to be accounted for while in Dichato which added to the logistical difficulties as many things were unavailable or very difficult to acquire.Similar to the human medical response following the earthquake in 1985 [8], we experienced a loss of momentum over time, demonstrated by very poor turn-out rates of veterinarians and volunteers. Only 80% and 50% of our confirmed team members showed up to work in April and May, respectively. Reasons for poor turnout included other time commitments and priorities, cost of the trip, lack of interest and unknown reasons. There were also problems with the quality of reporting by veterinarians and assistants on the medical forms.
Almost a quarter of the medical records were incompletely or incorrectly filled out in April in at least one or more of the physical exam categories, and much of the information on owners and animal history was incomplete. This dramatically reduced our group sample sizes when analyzing data following the campaign.
Although some level of chaos and reduced ability to perform is always expected following a natural disaster, we observed very similar and preventable difficulties within the veterinary response as with the medical response described during the 1985 earthquake [8]. Discussion and ConclusionThis brief report provides examples of the many challenges encountered during disaster responses, using Chile as an example.
The risk evaluation and response to the spread of hydatid disease after Yushu earthquake in Qinghai Province.
Similar to other Latin American countries, Chile has many free-roaming dogs (FRD), the majority of which are owned [19,20,21].
However, in the absence of a tailored companion animal plan for Chile, there was no organized care, treatment or sheltering for dogs and they were left to roam freely, aggravating the negative effects of having FRDs in non-disaster times and potentially providing a source for canine zoonoses to vulnerable in-contact residents [19,32,33]. The study of a CDV outbreak provided a valuable account of diseases that can occur in the animals themselves.
In the absence of government involvement and coordination, there were no constraints placed on the activities permitted by animal welfare groups or enforcement of non-veterinarians practicing medicine. There were no restrictions on movements of animals in and out of the area, posing risks of disease expansion when an infectious disease outbreak has been identified. Review of the risks of some canine zoonoses from free-roaming dogs in the post-disaster setting of Latin America. Furthermore, disaster environments may not be the best location or time to be coordinating field sterilization campaigns due to the lack of hygiene, absence of provisioning of post-operative care, poor health and nutritional status of animals and lack of internal resources to cope with large groups of incoming volunteers. Chile is a country challenged with frequent disasters [8] and grave problems with free-roaming companion animals [34].
It is one of the 178 member countries of the World Health Organization for Animals (OIE) [35] and in theory would support the guidelines outlined in the Terrestrial Animal Health Code describing stray dog population control [36]. Characteristics of a canine distemper virus outbreak in Dichato, Chile following the February 2010 earthquake. Although this document does not refer specifically to disasters, it does provide a comprehensive strategy for dealing with stray dogs where serious human, animal or welfare threats exist, with the objective of mitigating or preventing the myriad problems that can result when free-roaming dogs are abundant, for example following disasters.Chile is also on the cusp of gaining international “developed” status [37] and could serve as a useful model for the rest of Latin America. However, there is in general, a serious lag time between the release of information about the need to incorporate companion animals into national planning and the legal mandate to do so. For example in 2008, Chile gained unfavorable international attention over its lack of inclusion of companion animals in the evacuation following the dramatic eruption of the Chaiten volcano [22]. In this case, fierce local and international lobbying prompted the government to mobilize the army to recover the abandoned dogs and it was reported that significant psycho-social and political damage would have been averted had companion animals been included in the planning process [9,22]. It is documented through worldwide experiences that human deaths increase when their pets are not included in disaster responses, that negative animal welfare effects and deaths are profoundly increased, and it is suggested that there could be an increase in the transmission of zoonotic disease transmission following disasters [7,19,20,21,22,38,39].
Unfortunately, lessons learned are not always incorporated into the cycle of evaluation and development or improvement of plans [1,22].Based on available information and evidence, national and local authorities must take responsibility for the incorporation of companion animals into their planning process, instead of relying on international organizations that may be unfamiliar with the social, economic and cultural realities in which the disaster occurs, or on local NGOs that are often resource deficient and lack expertise [22].
As a form of monitoring and evaluation of field efforts and plan implementation, key leaders from NGOs and governments should conduct debriefing meetings to identify problems and successes encountered, and to report on those identified as a concrete step toward developing or improving existing response plans.
Recommendations for future research should be driven by these reports generated following disasters. Studies of the veterinary disaster response are few, so lessons learned are extremely valuable. There is however, sufficient information in the literature to demonstrate the inherent links between companion animals, humans, livestock and wildlife health and well-being. Using a one-health philosophy, we must intuitively recognize the importance of managing people and animals together as part of a comprehensive disaster plan.



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