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I've lived with Peachfront Conures Aratinga aurea for 30 years. I've bred 'em, trained 'em, even visited Bolivia to observe them in the wild. For more about me, click right here.

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9:52 p.m. 2012-08-08

hurricane season checklist

Time for the hurricane evacuation checklist. Whether you are asked to shelter in place or move to higher ground, you should always have a plan to protect yourself and your precious Peachfronted Conures.

If you might be asked to shelter in place, consider the following:

  • If you couldn't go anywhere for a number of days, do you have enough non-perishable food and clean water for you and your pets?
  • If you could lose your electricity and don't have a generator, do you have sufficient flashlights and battery to be able to get around safely in the dark? If you plan to use candles, do you have a safe, clear, fireproof place to set them up? There have been many fires during supposedly "wet" natural disasters like tropical storm and hurricanes, and the size of the disaster or street flooding could block the fire department from getting to your home.

If you might be asked to evacuate:

  • Ask around now, to have a plan for a place you might go. A shelter might not allow pets, or your pets may not like the other pets such as boisterous dogs, or the shelter itself may be inadequate and unsafe. We all remember the horror stories from the people trapped in the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina. Try to have an agreement with someone else in a distant state, so that you have a place you can go.

  • Have enough bird carriers for each bird or each pair of birds that is bonded together and used to being caged together. But now is not the time for birds that are housed apart to be thrust together. Each bird or pair needs its own carrier.
  • Keep a full tank of gas if there is a storm that could affect you. I always watch for storms in the Gulf, the signal to top off. The fuller the tank, the farther you can drive before you have to stop. During Katrina, we had trouble getting gas in Jackson, and we had to leave one of our cars parked there. (It was stored safely at DH's Jackson office, thank goodness. But don't risk ending up by the side of the road.) For some time after the storm, there were spot shortages of gas or dirty gas around. Give yourself a chance, and start with a full tank.
  • Bring plenty of non-perishable food that your Peachfronts will eat, and plenty of clean water. Hey, if there's still room, throw in some food for yourself.
  • If the weather has been excessively hot, and you have good reason to believe that an evacuation will be called, it might be a good idea to leave early, if it allows you to leave at night and avoid driving with your Peachfronts in the heat of an August day. I left early and drove at night for both Hurricane Ivan and Hurricane Katrina. You may say that I made an unnecessary trip for Ivan. Well, all I can say is...I wish they were all unnecessary.

Stay safe, people! The storms are out there.

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