We've had parrots for 15 years. Living in the Mid West and now the Mountain States, we've had plenty of experience with evacuating our pet birds. You'll recall disasters such as devastating Kansas Tornado's to the smoke filled air in Colorado Springs. Floods and hurricanes are yearly disasters that require us to evacuate our pets. Early in our parrot loving history, 9/11 affected the residents of New York City. Katrina affected thousands of parrots. And, in 2012, Superstorm Sandy. The point is that disasters affect all regions and you must be prepared to keep your pet bird safe.
You don't have to wait until tornado season, hurricane season or fire season to plan how to keep your pet birds safe. Follow these four easy steps to insure your pet bird will be able to rely on you to keep it safe should you be forced to evacuate your home.
- Microchip Your Pet Birds: Maybe you've put micro chipping your parrot off, thinking a disaster would never separate you from your beloved parrot, but thousands of parrots fly off each year. Others are stolen and even more are separated from their owners in a disaster. A microchip always bonds your pet bird to you. Register and record the number. Create a Parrot ID Kit - Record the leg band number and keep photos of your parrot in a sealed zip lock bag.
- Prepare a Bird Carrier: Each of your pet birds will need a bird carrier equipped with a bird perch and food bowls. Make sure that your bird is socialized and desensitized to the bird carrier. Have it assembled and prepared during storm season. Take your pet bird on fun car trips so that when you need to use the bird carrier in an emergency, it is not a stressful experience.
- Assemble a Parrot Evacuation Kit: Purchase a sealable plastic tub and stock it with fresh bird food, a set of bowls, paper towels, a few bird carrier cleaning supplies, bottled water and a first aid kit. Put your Parrot ID Kit in it too!
- Survey Shelters, Hotels and Friends that will allow you to stay: Each type of disaster poses different challenges. In the summer 2012 Colorado Fires, our town, Colorado Springs was greatly affected. We drove north, but fires were breaking out along the front range of the Rockies due to drought conditions. We averted smoke inhalation, but actually drove from Colorado Springs to Estes Park, 110 miles away, where 24 homes were on fire! Had we watched the news and were aware of pet friendly hotels, we'd have travelled East rather than North.