California, especially Southern California, can be prone to devastating floods. In fact, every single one of California’s fifty-eight counties has experienced at least one huge flood event, especially recently with heavier rain seasons. If and when your area may unexpectedly flood, it’s crucial that you follow the steps below beforehand to ensure that you and your birds remain safe.

 

Understanding and Confirming When a Flood Happens

 

First, it’s important to understand potential disasters associated with where you live and stay up to date on all relevant information if a flood were to occur! The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) has an online tool called MyHazards where you can input your address and discover local hazards associated with your area.

 

  • If you’d like to learn about these hazards, please visit https://myhazards.caloes.ca.gov/.
  • These potential hazards include floods as well as tsunamis, earthquakes, and fires.
  • This tool also provides recommendations you can implement based on what hazards may occur near you!

 

Secondly, you can visit these places to learn more about if a flood were to occur in your area.

 

  • Your local Office of Emergency Management or Office of Emergency Services. You can often sign up for text or email alerts.
  • Sign up for Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs)! Part of the alerts you may receive are imminent threat alerts such as floods or fires. Visit https://calalerts.org/index.html to learn more about this vital resource.

 

Building an Emergency Kit

 

Now that you’ve discovered how to stay up to date on if a flood were to occur, it’s necessary to build an emergency disaster kit for your birds. This emergency kit will include supplies like:

 

  • An appropriately sized carrier and/or cage to fit all of your birds. If possible, this should also have your contact information and a cover since birds are often calmer in the dark. Each bird will need approximately 1.5 square ft of floor space.
  • A water container for several days’ worth of water (Note: chickens drink about 2x as much as they eat. For a laying hen that eats an average of 120g of feed that means you need about a cup of water a day per hen).
  • A week’s supply of feed for all birds (at least) in airtight, waterproof containers.
  • Up to date medical records (if you have them) for your birds along with any necessary medication(s).
  • A basic first aid kit that may contain supplies like betadine and a syringe to help flush out any wounds. You can also consult your veterinarian about additional medical supplies you should add.
  • Familiar items to your birds such as toys and a picture of you and your birds together (to help with identification if you are separated from your birds).
  • Clean and dry bedding such as rice hulls or wood shavings which can be easily stored in a trash bag.

 

Knowing Where to Go

 

Oftentimes public shelters and hotels in the case of a disaster will not take birds. Having an evacuation plan and contacting local animal shelters, animal control offices, or even your Emergency Management offices is crucial to find a safe place you and your birds can go to in the event of a flood. More often than not, county fairgrounds are used as staging areas for backyard livestock. Additionally, think about contacting other people (friends, neighbors, family, etc.) that can take care of your birds if you’re not able to.

 

By following these tips and staying proactive, you can help to prepare yourself and your pet birds in the event of various natural disasters including fires and floods.