Hurricanes, Tornados, Floods, Fires, or a man-made disaster, can we really be reminded too often to be prepared for any and all emergencies?
Several times a year it is a good to do a quick checkup of your emergency carriers or travel cages to be sure they are clean and ready to go. Don't forget to rotate emergency supplies you have stored in your evacuation carriers/cages as needed so no expiration dates get too close. Keeping a list of emergency supplies inside your carrier makes it easy to make sure everything is ready.
Setting calendar reminders to include these checkups throughout the year works great for many of us. A minimum of twice a year probably works for many, but I like to check everything quarterly as every 3 months for me works best. If you don't have a way to remind yourself conveniently, then make it a habit when the time changes and you reset your clocks and change those smoke detector batteries, check and evaluate your emergency bird supplies at the same time so at least you are checking twice a year. Of course if you don't have time changes a quick add to your calendar works also.
A first Aid Emergency Kit List:
- Blunt ended Scissors
- These can also come in handy if your bird becomes entangled in a toy or other material.
- Styptic Powder, or other blood clotting agent
- Use on bleeding nails or beaks in an emergency.
- Avoid using directly on skin as some styptic powders can burn skin
- A Carrier or small Cage
- A small cage or carrier can also be used as a hospital area for an injured bird.
- Locking Forceps, Hemostat, or good Tweezers
- These can be used to remove a broken blood feather
- First Aid Book
- Latex Gloves
- Gauze Bandages and pads
- Cotton swabs and Q-tips
- A list of emergency phone numbers
- Avian Veterinarian or closest emergency clinic and the Poison control phone number
- Flashlight and batteries
- Syringes for medicating or giving fluids
- Nail clippers
- (optional) antibiotic ointment or spray
- (optional) fluids for rehydrating
- (optional) heating pad
- Warm (not hot) heat can often mean the difference between
- life and death to a seriously injured bird.
How to Prepare BEFORE a Disaster occurs:
Know ahead of time if there are any local shelters that will also take your pets in the event you need to leave your home. Unfortunately these are usually few and far between as most shelters only allow humans, so it is important that you also check with local animal shelters or veterinarians to see if any of those offer a shelter for animals during these disasters. Also check ahead of time for motel/hotels that will allow pets if you need to evacuate the area.
Make sure you have a well stocked first aid kit for both humans and pets and keep it handy so it can be quickly loaded into your car if you need to evacuate, or if an accident happens while still in your home.
Make sure you have at least 7 days worth of food and water for people and animals, especially for your bird. Some small birds can dehydrate in as little as 24 hours and can die. Keep extra dry bird foods such as seeds and pellets in air tight plastic containers to keep the food dry. Spray millet is an excellent emergency food to keep on hand as a bird under stress may benefit from this high carbohydrate food.
Stress on birds during these times can be deadly, so having a familiar travel carrier or cage, with cover, can help your bird(s) feel more secure. They will pick up on your own tensions and anxiety, and birds always seem to know beforehand something bad is about to happen, so everything you can do to help them stay calm, will help you handle things better as well.
Check with your local Chamber of Commerce for an Emergency Preparedness Handbook for your city that will provide important helpful tips to keep you, your family, and your pets as safe as possible during any natural disaster.
Some additional info to help in case of an emergency:
Pets and Disasters - Be Prepared The Humane Society of the United States in cooperation with the American Red Cross off advice on emergency preparedness for your pets.