Civil protection for animals:

Civil protection design is widely common in Europe and well organised for citizens but most cities are unprepared to deal with crisis management for animals at the event of natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes and wildfires. Greece has experienced within 2017 and 2019 two major natural disasters. We will present the outcome of the 2018 wildfires incident in East Attica, Greece.

Saving stray animals during a wildfire crisis:

On July 23, 2018, at 12:03 p.m., a wildfire broke out in West Attica, near Kineta. Shortly after, a second fire broke out in Neos Voutzas and soon reached the areas of Mati, Rafina and Marathonas, resulting in the death of 99 people and leaving behind a massive social and environmental disaster. Among the victims there were hundreds of companion and wild animals. The actual number of animals that died in the wildfires cannot be determined. In numbers: 101 dead citizens: 187 people who received medical treatment, 530 animals that received veterinary care, 68.892 acres total burned area.

Managing companion animals during a natural disaster:

This tragic incident and the involvement to our team during the crisis management process led us to release the following tips for cities:

  1. Set up a fostering mechanism in advance. It is very important to provide a safe facility for animals in need;
  2. Promote microchip for every single animal in advance: many animals get lost during a crisis and it is way easier to reunite them with their owners if they are microchipped.
  3. Set up a veterinary station: depending on the crisis registered veterinaries should be immediately available to receive animals in need for veterinary treatment. 
  4. Set up a platform in order to distribute guidelines and instructions to volunteers: managing the citizens, volunteers, the media and public authorities gets really demanding during a crisis. Be sure that you provide a reliable source of information where official announcements for animals’ management will be published. 

If interested to find out more please visit our full report on the 2018 East Attica wildfires management here: