Aquatic Pet Rescue/Shelter
After leaving licensed aquaculture facilities, non-native freshwater aquatic pets and ornamental fish are not included in the disaster plan at the local, county, regional, state or federal disaster plans. As a result, ornamental fish seldom survive a regional disaster where grid power is lost for longer than 48 hours. This represents not only a significant cost to private owners and business owners, but often significant emotional cost to the owners and at many establishments, their customers. We have worked slowly over the past 7 years to build towards a permanent aquatic pet rescue in Florida. Our Founders own a 5 acre location with three 1000 gallons of fish isolation tanks. We currently have filtration/sanitation for up to 60,000 gallons. We have a relationship with a manufacturer for rescue tanks (aquatic pet kennels). We have storm shielded space for these tanks. We also have designs for an additional 64,000 gallons of long term shelter tanks/ponds for additional animals. Our entire aquaponic system is powered by the power grid, solar, wind turbine and propane generator. Our on site power generation capacity will run the aquaponic pumps and filtration during a disaster. We have relationships with local, state and national aquaculture organizations, local and state Emergency Management, State of Florida Agricultural Response Teams, animal rescue, botanical gardens, aquariums, aquaponic operations and ornamental fish owners. We have existing relationships with Make A Wish Foundation and Give Kids The World. The Florida State Agricultural Response Team (FL-SART) as well as county and state EOCs have all been very supportive as we are the only freshwater non-native aquatic pet rescue in FEMA Region 4 (Florida, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee & Kentucky). Disaster Education for Animal Welfare Facilities and Professionals Our 501c3 was founded as an educational disaster preparedness, planning, response, and recovery organization. We were a Basic Disaster Life Support Training Center (BDLS, CDLS and SALT Triage). We are still certified to train Psychological First Aid, Mass Fatality Management, and Combined Integrated Triage. We provided tabletop disaster drills based on DHS – National Response Framework – National Planning Scenarios, (NPSs). Our model for training includes didactic presentations (1 to 8 one hour programs) online to provide basic skills and knowledge. After didactic training, we challenge the class with a tabletop based on one of the NPSs. The class divides up according to their implementation of the didactic skills and they come up with the response and recovery. We think this would be a great module that many zoos, aquariums and animal welfare facilities will want such programs post-pandemic.