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Calendar:

SAT, JUL 1, 2017
Bird Club Picnic, Abbott Park, 11AM-3PM
CLICK HERE

TUE, JUL 4, 2017
NO EDUCATIONAL MEETING UNTIL AUG 1

SAT, JUL 22, 2017
Board Meeting at Kaladi Brothers, 6921 Brayton Dr, Anchorage, 10-Noon

TUE, AUG 1, 2017
Educational Meeting
Toy Making

SAT, AUG 26, 2017
Board Meeting at Kaladi Brothers, 6921 Brayton Dr, Anchorage, 10-Noon

TUE, SEP 5, 2017
Educational Meeting
Parrot 101

SAT, SEP 23, 2017
Board Meeting at Kaladi Brothers, 6921 Brayton Dr, Anchorage, 10-Noon

TUE, OCT 3, 2017
Educational Meeting

SAT, OCT 28, 2017
Board Meeting at Kaladi Brothers, 6921 Brayton Dr, Anchorage, 10-Noon

TUE, NOV 7, 2017
Educational Meeting

SAT, NOV 25, 2017
Board Meeting at Kaladi Brothers, 6921 Brayton Dr, Anchorage, 10-Noon

TUE, DEC 5, 2017
Holiday Potluck and Club Elections


 

Emergency Preparedness Planning for Parrots
Overview  •   First Aid  •   Volcano  •   Links
Emergency Preparedness Planning for Parrots
By Garry J. Wallan

No one likes to think about emergencies which threaten the lives of family, friends, or companion animals. Such experiences are intense, upsetting, and scary, to say the least. Nevertheless, planning and practicing for those moments when you need to act quickly to save lives, both human and animal, can help make the experience safer and less stressful.

Emergencies come in all sizes from a single injured animal at home to threats to public safety that cover wide regions, so emergency preparedness needs to cover a wide range of general conditions. There is no way to be ready for every situation, and you will turn the exercise into a painful experience if you try to plan for every single thing. Be a generalist and elarn to make do with what you have. Try to be MacGyver!

The primary goal of emergency preparedness planning is to be as ready as possible in case of evacuation or the loss of normal day-to-day amenities such as utilities, phones, or even a reliable transportation system.

While emergency assistance organizations are immensely helpful during disasters, the first line of defense in protecting ourselves and our animals is to have emergency supplies available and to practice personal response to emergencies and evacuations. Self-reliance will go a long ways towards making the experience less stressful than it might otherwise be!

The first place to start is with preparations for the human members of your family. If you cannot take care of yourselves, you will be no help to your pets. Two good resources for what to have on hand for your family are the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Red Cross. Visit these sites and prepare your family supplies and disaster plan before you prepare your pet supplies.

The current federal guidelines suggest having a three-day supply of food, water and other consumables in your family (and pet) emergency kit. After hurricane Katrina, it became apparent that disasters can happen that are so large and/or so complex that rescue and support agencies may have trouble getting up to speed. With that in mind, I'm suggesting having at least a SEVEN DAY SUPPLY of food, water and other consumables. This way, you should be prepared for most situations.

Up to this point, I have mostly used the word "pets" because not everyone has only birds and these preparedness steps can be tailored to work for other types of pets. From this point on, I'll be focusing on bird-related supplies. You may have to adjust the quantities and types of items mentioned here to fit your flock!

Don't let the amount of supplies scare you away. You can run out and buy them now, or take your time and get a few itesm each time you go shopping, spreading the cost out over a few months. It's better to take some time to build a kit slowly than avoid it altogether!

Emergency Supplies

STORAGE CONTAINER: Store the emergency supplies in moisture-resistant containers which will fit your vehicle. An evacuation event is not the time to discover your carefully prepared emergency supplies don't fit in the car!

FIRST AID KIT: You can use your existing bird first aid kit, or build a second one to always be with your emergency supplies. If you don't have a bird first aid kit, visit our Emergency Preparedness: First Aid page for a list of supplies.

WATER: One-third to one-half gallon per day for large birds, for drinking and bathing. A good rule of thumb: keep track of how much water you give your birds each day, double that amount, and store a seven-day supply.

FOOD: Pelleted diets, dried fruits and veggies, pasta, and seeds should survive well in airtight containers. On a regular basis, rotate the emergency food into the daily food supply and store fresh food into the emergency containers. Do not assume that there will be cooking facilities for special foods such as bird bread, cooked pasta or frozen vegetables. Also don't assume there will be refrigeration for fresh vegetables or other perishable items.

SPRAY BOTTLE: For cleaning and misting the birds

FOOD AND WATER DISHES: Something non-breakable and easily cleaned.

GARBAGE BAGS, PAPER TOWELS, BIRD-SAFE DISINFECTANT: For general cage and carrier cleaning. A 1:20 bleach:water solution (one part bleach to 20 parts clean water) can be used for emergency disinfectants, though the birds should not ingest the bleach solution.

PORTABLE CAGES OR CARRIERS: collapsible models are commercially available, as are airline kennels. Special cardboard carriers may be available from some vets or pet supply stores, but for parrots, these may be short term carriers at best. Write your name and address on the carrier using an indelible marker or on a tag attached to the carrier or cage.

CAGE COVERS: Old sheets or large towels work well. Blankets may be more appropriate for cold weather emergencies. Even if you do not normally cover your bird at night, an emergency cover is a good idea because if they are temporarily housed in a shelter with other birds and animals, a bit of privacy and the illusion of a "safe space" may be helpful.

TOWELS: For restraining birds for handling, exams, or treatment. Many folks prefer having their bird held in a towel from home, rather than one which was already used on another bird.

NEWSPAPER: Or some other bird-safe, easily disposable cage/carrier lining

CAGE TOYS: Select something familiar from the regular cage, or similar to normal cage toys. This can help ease the turmoil of evacuation or special sheltering conditions.

MEDICINES: keep all pet medicines in one location at home, preferably in a waterproof container which can be grabbed on the run.

BIRD IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENTATION: Ideally, have a full profile and behavior sheet on record for each bird along Make two copies of each. Keep one set with your important papers that go with you if you evacuate. The other set can go with the bird if it has to go to a temporary shelter or to the vet. The photos will help identify your bird when it is time to be reunited. Visit our Bird Care Downloads page where you scan obtain a Parrot Profile form in a variety of formats.

BABY BIRD SUPPLIES: If you have breeding pairs of birds, plan for baby bird emergency supplies as well. Store and periodically rotate a supply of hand feeding formula. Also store a supply of syringes, spoons, pipettes, or whatever is used to feed the babies. Set aside some type of portable, durable emergency brooder for the babies such as plastic 5-gallon buckets or plastic containers. Also, consider a heat source for the babies. A heating pad is OK if electricity is available. A hot water bottle can also be used if there is a way to heat water. A third alternative is a chemical "heat pack" which can be stored until needed.

Emergency Drills and Evacuation Practice

Just as with family fire drills, it is important to practice quick, safe evacuations of your birds. Since the evacuation drill can be stressful to your birds, consider using stuffed animals for practice. Another possibility is to turn the drills into a game for your bird so it will be easier to handle in case of a real evacuation. You will need to decide the best way to handle emergency drills with your flock.

If a speedy evacuation becomes necessary, trying to assemble pet carriers or portable cages may take up valuable time, so try to store them in an assembled state. As an alternative, a quick, easily-stored container for evacuating birds could be a cloth bag or pillow case. The pet carriers or cages can be assembled later and the birds put into them from the bags. The goal is to have emergency containers which are almost-immediately available if necessary.

Small-scale Emergencies

It's tough to say what is small-scale or large-scale, so use common sense. Small-scale emergencies usually only involve your house or neighborhood, but they can be sufficiently serious as to seem "large-scale" do take these classifications with a grain of salt.

SHELTER-IN-PLACE: Follow standard guidelines for making sure your house is a safe place to stay. It may not necessarily be warm or comfortable, but must be safe (no fumes, threat of fire or structural collapse, and so on). If you use auxiliary heating, cooking, or power generation equipment, make sure they are adequately ventilated so that a carbon monoxide buildup is not a hazard.

EVACUATION: Animal assistance organizations may not be activated. Ahead of time, during your preparations, talk to family, friends, and/or your veterinarian about emergency housing arrangements.

Large-scale Emergencies

SHELTER-IN-PLACE: Follow standard guidelines for making sure your house is a safe place to stay. It may not necessarily be warm or comfortable, but must be safe (no fumes, threat of fire or structural collapse, and so on). If you use auxiliary heating, cooking, or power generation equipment, make sure they are adequately ventilated so that a carbon monoxide buildup is not a hazard. 72-96 hours may pass before full recovery efforts are underway, so be prepared to feed and house your family and flock for at least that long.

EVACUATION: Listen to the radio for evacuation and shelter instructions. Standard transportation routes may be unavailable, so plan for alternate routes as needed. Transport your birds to the nearest safe haven or animal evacuation shelter. In some cases, local public transit will allow pets onboard, but only if they are not a threat to other passengers, and only as many as you can safely transport.

Shelters

If you own or have easy access to a recreational vehicle, such as a camper, trailer, or motor home, it may serve as an excellent emergency shelter, depending on its size and how it is equipped for heating and ventilation.

If you have to evacuate to a public shelter, remember that they are for people only; health and safety concerns make it impossible for animals to coexist with humans at the same location. For this reason, a separate facility may be available for people with animals. In a "normal" emergency, you will first register your bird at the animal-related facility or drop-off point and then proceed to the human shelter.

Be prepared for an environment of "controlled chaos" at the shelter, depending on the severity and scope of the emergency. Veterinarians and/or emergency vet technicians should be available at the animal-related facility. A triage process will be in place; injured animals will be stabilized and transported to veterinary facilities, and healthy animals will be transported to safe housing.

Because I live in Anchorage, Alaska, I can say that the Municipality of Anchorage Office of Emergency Services plans to provide for emergency animal care in a disaster (that is, if the disaster or emergency is large enough that the Emergency Operations Center is opened). To find out if animal sheltering will be available in the event of a disaster in your area, check with your local city or municipal emergency response agencies. Just in case, plan alternate care options with friends, family, office colleagues, knitting club members, or other social contacts. Have multiple shelter locations; your first choice may be damaged by the disaster!

Life in the human emergency shelter will be strange and stressful, especially when compounded by worry about your human and animal family members. Sometimes, visiting your pets at their shelter may be possible; it all depends on the nature of the emergency. For this, and to help reunite you with your companion animal after the emergency is over, being able to link each animal to their human is vital. This is why it is so important to have your name and address on the carrier or cage, a photo of your animal, and other backup identification information.


PREPARE, PRACTICE, STAY SAFE, STAY CALM AND USE COMMON SENSE!

 

 

The Alaska Bird Club • P.O. Box 101825 • Anchorage AK 99510
akbirdclub@yahoo.com