There were so many people, animals and rescues that were effected by natural disasters in 2017 and they were on our hearts and minds. We stepped in and helped some and offered help to others as we were lucky enough to not be in the same situation. We hope they have recovered.
In case you haven't prepared, please let this article serve as a reminder. Our hope is to make the task easier so that it will get done.
Protecting Our Pets – Preparing for Emergencies
For as long as there has been man there have been natural disasters to disrupt and threaten all that we hold dear. Fires, floods, hurricanes, and blizzards can be stressful, scary and sometimes devastating.
When the lives of the animals we love are threatened it adds yet another level of stress and anxiety. Remember, our pets have a 6th sense which makes them particularly sensitive and they experience stress too. So we need to plan ahead as best one can, to ensure our pets safety and well-being.
Family members can at least fend for themselves when the worst comes, but pets are almost wholly reliant upon our assistance to survive. This is doubly so for parrots, who find themselves trapped in cages with little recourse when the unthinkable happens. Today we will be examining some steps that you can take to prepare yourself and your feathered loved ones for emergency situations.
Let’s start with a list of things that are good safeguards against most any critical situation. All of the following are things that you can start setting up immediately to help prepare for a variety of incidents:
- Document as much about your birds as possible: weight, any distinguishing marks, band numbers, etc. All information could be helpful if they are lost.
- Current pictures! Many people have no clue what various bird species look like and this will help them. Have at least one hard copy! You never know when your computer/phone will be out of commission and your digital pics/Facebook/Instagram will not be available.
- Put your contact info on any travel carriers that you might use, in case you are separated. (We used key tags)
- There are pet safety emergency rescue stickers you can place on your front window or door, outlining any pets in the house and where they are located. This is so the FD and other first responders can do their best to rescue them!
- Any pertinent medical information is also a great idea. Have the name of your vet and any available health records or concerns on hand. These are our feathered babies, so remember to keep the same records that you would for a human baby.
- If you have any neighbors who watch your birds or even just your home for you, make sure that they are aware of any emergency procedures you would like them to follow. This includes showing them where the survival kit (detailed below) is stored.
We placed most of the above information on one sheet and put it in a plastic page protector to keep with the backpack.
The Survival Kit
It is a good idea to have an emergency preparedness kit that you keep ready at all times. This will allow you to grab your loved one(s) and go, without worrying about leaving anything behind. A serious emergency will warrant quick thinking and even quicker action, meaning this stuff needs to be ready to go at a moment’s notice.
- Travel cage: obviously very important for transportation. It should have your name and address on it. You can store your prep bag (see below) in here, too, but be sure that you can get your birds in quickly.
- Duffle or large plastic bag: this will hold all of the items below, keeping them neat, clean and organized. You can put it in the cage for storage, but make sure you can remove it quickly and easily in order to get your bird in.
- A sheet AND a towel or blanket: The sheet can be used to cover the bird in warm weather. It is a good idea to cover your pal when removing them from the area. It will help keep them calm. You can also cover them at night if you find yourself displaced. The cover helps them sleep better in unfamiliar surroundings. The towel/blanket is for cooler weather AND it can be used to help hold a bird that may be in a very bite-happy mood.
Note: In case of fire, a wet towel over the carrier will help protect a bird’s sensitive respiratory system. Smoke and particles in the air are death to birds.
- A spray bottle is vital in warmer weather. Use it to mist your parrot and keep them cool. If you are stuck outside in the hot summer, this could be a lifesaver.
- A favorite toy or plaything. We often hear that parrots can rival toddlers in their intelligence, so imagine a toddler separated from all of her/his stuffed animals and toys. A little piece of home can go a long way in helping calm a bird’s nerves. Stress and uncertainty can do major damage to a bird’s health.
- Necessary dishes and cage materials. Remember, if you are displaced you need to make that travel carrier a temporary home. That means lining the bottom of the cage and having an easy way for your pet to have access to food and water while in the cage.
- Food and water that you change regularly. Pellets and/or seed and fresh bottled water are obvious staples. Your bird will suffer greatly if they go even 24 hours without these items.
Note: Regarding food & water, we recommend changing them every month to ensure that they are fresh and consumable. Mark your calendar or be sure to change your supply on the same date every month!
The hope, of course, is that this is all a lot of work for nothing. No one wants to deal with the terror and sadness of surviving an emergency, but we still need to be prepared. Taking the above steps represent a fairly minor time and financial commitment, but it truly could be a matter of life and death for your parrots. Make sure that they have the security they deserve!