The sanctuary has been through hurricanes before. In 2004 we were located a few hours south, near the Peace River. We were directly hit by hurricanes Charley, Frances and Jeanne over a period of only 6 weeks. We sustained $200,000 in damage but had no injuries or escapes.
Attempting to evacuate 100 animals in an attempt to avoid the path of a large unpredictable storm is impractical. Experience has shown that the best way for a facility like ours to plan for a storm like Irma is to shelter in place.
The animal habitats are solidly constructed well above the flood zone. Each large enclosure has a structurally reinforced safety area attached. The animals come into their safety areas on a daily basis for feeding, observation and to ensure that they receive the proper supplements and any medications needed. Since it is a normal part of their daily routine, it is a positive experience for the animals to move into these secure areas in preparation for the storm.
Hurricane Irma is on track to do severe damage to a large portion of Florida. We don’t know how seriously we will be impacted, but we are as prepared as we can be.
All we can do is hope for the best – and be prepared for the worst.
We are sure that we will sustain substantial property damage.
Large amounts of our regular support has already been redirected to disaster relief with hurricane Harvey. Now with Irma, it could be some time before our donations return to normal levels to care for the animals, let alone provide the resources we need to repair property damage from the storm and finish our Animal Care Building.
We have seen this before – it is a normal pattern. Our thoughts are with everyone impacted by these natural disasters, but if you are an animal lover and donating to hurricane recovery, please remember that animals still need your support as well as the humans.
If you’re currently outside the state and want to help, consider an item off our Amazon Wish List here: http://a.co/aMX1ZCf
If you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation to help with hurricane recovery or caring for the animals you can do so securely right here:
If you prefer, your tax-deductible gift can be mailed to:
Forest Animal Rescue
640 NE 170th Ct.
Silver Springs, FL 34488
Please share this message with anyone in our animal welfare community and beyond.
May you be safe and secure in the coming hours.