Tonight, a new group known as the Emergency Animal Response Service (EARS) will host a free community meeting for all interested animal enthusiasts to gain information, and take suggestions, at Wheelers Market-Cafe (Former home of Scoop This) 180 Amity Road, Woodbridge, from 7-9 p.m.
EARS, led by Jon Nowinski, a former Orange business owner, was conceived after the 2011 barn collapse in Bethany, in which several horses were rescued during a heavy snowfall.
“Weather-related emergencies in our area have emphasized the need for people to be ready, and when there are animals involved owners must take extra steps for pet preparedness,” Nowinski stated in a press release. “Agencies and organizations such as FEMA and the Red Cross suggest that families be prepared to support themselves on their own for at least 72 hours (3 days), but often times their guidelines and responses do not account for animals, especially larger animals such as horses, or owners who have multiple animals.”
In an online survey that EARS conducted, more than 70% of responders from Connecticut stated that they would defy authorities and remain behind if an evacuation order was issued and they were unable to secure the safety of their animals.
“The fact is that animals are a part of our families, our lives, and our society, and must be taken care of, however out of those respondents only 25% of them said they felt they were prepared for an emergency,” Nowinski said. “Most people find the thought overwhelming, but there are some simple things you can do to make yourself and your animals ready.”
For more information please contact EARS at (203) 247-0310, by e-mail EARSCT@gmail.com or visit the website at http://earsct.weebly.com/ Members of the EARS Team will be available for questions and interviews at the event.
The Emergency Animal Response Team is a nonprofit organization that was officially established in December of 2012, however, as stated above, the foundation and work go back to the winter of 2011.
In that case, the realization that there lacks a team capable of rapid-response to emergencies affecting animals caused a small group of dedicated people to begin planning for the future, and EARS was born from that to present community information and support.
In the event of large-scale disasters, state and local emergency services and relief organizations must primarily focus on the needs of the human population, which can result in leaving animals in dangerous and often fatal situations.
Members of EARS have the specialized expertise, knowledge, training, and resources in both animal and emergency response fields to provide a dedicated focus on animals in need during disasters. By working with local Emergency Managers or jurisdictional authorities, EARS can effectively take charge of animal rescue operations during a disaster, relieving emergency services to focus on other community response needs.
The group trains animal responders and welcomes volunteers.
You also are invited to like and follow the EARS Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/EARSCT/info