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!
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.
This post will offer more tips for emergency preparation: http://www.birdtricks.com/blog/disaster-preparedness-evacuating-your-parrots/.
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.