Emergency/Disaster Preparedness For Our Birds (and other pets)

There are many types of emergencies we as bird owners may encounter.  While we can not think of every possible misfortune that may occur, there are some basics we can have on hand to help us, and our FIDS (Feathered Kids) on the occasion of an emergency or disaster.

In Case of an Emergency or Disaster

Have a travel carrier/cage (cat and dog carriers work great) put together and stored under or near your birds cage for quick easy access.  Have food/water bowls in the carrier ready to go.  Have a towel to place over carrier to help protect from smoke inhalation should there be a fire and to help keep your bird calm.

Have an animal rescue sticker on an exterior window or door of the room your bird is living.  Some shelters, rescues or fire stations have these available.

Have your veterinarian information taped to the carrier, and in your emergency kit (listed below).  Also have your name, address and phone numbers taped to carrier in case you become separated from your bird.  To ensure the information is permanent, write it directly on the carrier with a permanent marker.

Have gloves, a towel and or a net on hand to pick up your bird from its cage.  While we know our birds love us and trust us, in a state of emergency they will be frightened and will likely bite out of fear.  There may not be time for coaxing your fid from his/her cage.

Make a plan ahead of time.  Designate a person in your family to retrieve your bird if it becomes necessary.  Just as we plan for escape routes in case of fire we need to plan for our birds as well.  If you have several birds like many of us do, designate different family members to retrieve specific birds.  Go over your plan at least once a year (as you would with your family with a fire escape plan) to be sure everyone knows the steps they are responsible for.  Remember organization can make a huge difference to survival. 

Hopefully we all have our designated area to go to in case of tornadoes or hurricane, and hopefully we have an emergency kit packed and refreshed each year in case we have little to no warning.  We also need to pack an emergency kit for our birds and other pets.

  • Fresh water (enough for 7 days)
  • Food (pellet/seed) (enough for 7 days)
  • Paper Towels
  • Toys to distract birds
  • Plastic zip top baggies
  • Hand Feeding Formula and Syringe in case hand feeding is necessary.
  • Bleach to disinfect surfaces if needed
  • Athletic Hot Packs to keep your bird warm if it becomes sick injured or the temperature is cold.
  • A Critter Keeper with a hand towel in the bottom in case you need to make a temporary hospital bed for your bird.
  • Your Veterinarian’s phone number
  • Your First Aid Kit
  • Extra News Paper to change their carriers.

To create a first aid kit you need the following.

  • A tackle box or other water proof container to keep supplies in
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Antibacterial Soap
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Dawn ™ Dish Soap (gentle and removes grease and oil)
  • Paper Towels
  • Cornstarch, Styptic Powder such as Quik Stop ™
  • Athletic Gel Heat Packs (have several, incase you cannot get to help right away)
  • Hand Feeding Formula
  • Syringes
  • Pedialyte ™ (this has electrolytes to help avoid dehydration)
  • Tweezers
  • Hemostats
  • Scissors
  • Cotton Balls and swabs
  • Gauze
  • Veterinary tape (does not stick), medic wrap works well too.
  • Telephone number of Animal Poison Control
  • Emergency Avian Veterinary Service telephone number
  • Primary Avian Veterinarian telephone number
  • Note Pad and Pen to take notes
  • A handbook on basic stabilization of injury (not to be used as a replacement for veterinary care).

While we all hope that we will not need to use any of this information, it is better to be prepared, just in case, rather than have to try and gather the necessary items during an emergency. 

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