East Coast US Residents – Hurricane Advice

The questions about how to handle the inevitable power outages that East Coasters in the US will be enduring are starting to pour in. I thought I better put something together for you, so that you can get through Hurricane Sandy as safely and stress free as possible.

Riding out the storm

Keep your birds' cages away from windows that might be shattered in high winds which might pick up debris and use it as a projectile.

Keep cages covered, at least partially, to offer your bird some security. Be sure to reassure your birds often – they look to you for protection and comfort.

Keep them  in their cages .There will be a lot of noise coming from outside which can cause them to take flight in a panic – flight accidents can happen easily in the dark and there is the danger of them being stepped on when they land while you are trying to find them. They are safest in their cage.

Keep a carrier and your avian first aid kit handy, just in case.


I  grew upon the east coast so I am familiar with the temperatures this time of year. While I am aware that the storm is going to dump a lot of snow on some states, I don’t think temperature is going to be as big a concern as it would be if this were January. The ground isn’t frozen and there isn’t that overall permeating freeze happening at this time of year. Cover cages to prevent drafts and read the next section carefully!

Power outages

The good thing about hurricanes, the ONLY good thing, is that there is plenty of warning. I will assume that you have stocked up on water and canned goods to get through the duration. The main question that people are concerned about is how to take care of their birds without electrical power.

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT that you do not use generators, or any fuel burning camping equipment INSIDE the house. They throw deadly fumes into the air and it could kill your birds!!!

If you have a fireplace, make sure the flue is wide open and do a flashlight test occasionally to check for smoke. The flashlight test is simple. Turn on the flashlight and direct the beam across the room. If there is smoke present, it will be evident in the beam of light.

If you do not have beeswax candles, be sure to keep other candles as far away from your bird’s cage as possible. It is preferable to burn them in another room altogether, but short term usage of them in an emergency situation will be okay.

Birdtricks.com is thinking about those of you enduring Hurricane Sandy. We hope she passes through without causing any great hardship or inconvenience for you.

Patty Jourgensen specializes in avian health, behavior and nutrition and has been working with and caring for rescue birds since 1987.




Kerosene heaters burn fuel and send toxic fumes into the air. You cannot count on a cracked window to eliminate the fumes. If you have done this in the past, you can consider yourself lucky that there were no repercussions with your bird. Please be careful! Patty


Unlike many, we have escaped Hurricane Sandy unscathed. Our African Grey, Horatio (who, it turns out is a girl. Oops) was rather spooked during the storm. The wind gusts sounded (and felt) like a truck hitting our building. So my partner and I cuddled with the girl for most of the storm. Fortunately, we’re in a part of Manhattan that has maintained power and experienced no flooding. Today our biggest issue was a level ten case of cabin fever. Now, I’m not an expert at reading the minds of parrots, but I’m pretty sure our little girl looked over at me today…and that her bemused, somewhat irritated feather fluffing said very clearly, “Why are you still HERE? I have so much I do when you leave the house — and I’m not getting ANY of it done!” She doesn’t use human language to communicate, so we have to read into her gestures, movements, looks, and moods. We’re suspicious she is secretly quoting Shakespeare while we’re gone — that she has this upper crust British accent and could play a role on Downton Abbey someday. Of course, in reality, she’s just trying to chew through her latest toy. For us, though, whether she ever actually speaks a word or just chews one $25 toy after another, it’s all good. We’re safe, dry, a little cold (but only due to a stingy landlord who waits until we yell at him to turn on the heat.) But we’re here — happy, healthy, and alive. And for that, we are grateful.

Ann Couch

What kind of heater would you suggest if the power went out?

Ann Couch

What about Kerosene Heaters! I have used them in the past years they seen ok. I am concern! i crack my window in the room where i use the heater.


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