I have to speak with you frankly. I’m a pet lover and a pet industry professional with several rescue dogs and 7 parrots whom I’m lucky enough to interact with every day. BirdSupplies.com has always had the goal of assisting our customers to make their pets a part of their everyday lives, whether it be enjoyable vacations or parrot evacuation.
Right now, Colorado is on fire! Last Saturday, I left my home at about 11:00 am to run some errands and by the time I was done the sky around my house was orange. I’m having a crazy opportunity to experience evacuating 6 dogs, 7 parrots and 1 guinea pig from the Colorado Springs fires. I chose a voluntary evacuation because I have parrots that are super sensitive to smoke and I have several pets so I have to be ahead of the pack rather than waiting until the last minute to get out of town.
As the owner of BirdSupplies.com, I’ve written articles and planned for this type of situation. I’ve also written articles about how to find pet friendly motels / hotels.
We recently moved from Kansas to Colorado so I have several bird carriers and have food storage containers ready to go. I’d developed a car packing strategy and house closing strategy. I’m really lucky. First, I had a strong, viable plan since I’d just moved all these animals 500 miles . Secondly, I left before a mandatory evacuation was ordered. Thirdly, Colorado is a really pet friendly state.
One thing that I hadn’t considered was my own PANIC FEELINGS. Could I keep my babies safe? Would I be safe? Even though I had recent car travel experience with my flock, I was in pure panic mode. When I moved from Kansas to Colorado Springs, it was very methodical. I’d planned where I was leaving from and where I would arrive at – when. It was so well planned out that the whole transition went fairly smooth. What a great precursor to this fire evacuation disaster.
WHAT I WISH I’D KNOWN:
- Each and every one of my pets knew, felt and REACTED to my panic. They were afraid to get in their bird carriers. I couldn’t hide it from them. Sally Blanchard talks so much about how our parrots pick up on our mood and demeanor when we are training them. Well, double likewise to evacuation. My well socialized dogs and parrots were very nervous in response to my fears on top of smelling the smoke.
- In panic mode, our pets will over-heat and dehydrate even more quickly. In warm weather disasters, like hurricanes, mountain fires, Mid-west tornado’s, anticipate that your already hot pets will feed upon your anxiety and are significantly more prone to heat related medical problems. Likewise, in winter related disasters such as ice storms and power outages, we must plan accordingly. Make sure that you have planned for not only water ingestion but a bird mister to cool your birds.
- Grooming: I really wish that all of my parrots had their wings trimmed so I didn’t have the additional worry that one might fly off. In terms of flight or fright mode, they know I’m in flight. I really hate it that they are not groomed well and could fly off.