I'm not sure where to post this thread, so here goes nothing...
A few weeks ago, I had a fire alarm in the middle of the night in my building. It turned out to be completly harmless, but we obviously had to evacuate the building. In the stress of everything, we quickly managed to put our cage in his cage and run outside.
Thing is, we didn't know what to do about Lola. We left her in the apartement saying that if it was a real fire, that we would ask the firemen to go get her quickly.
First of all, we don't have a travel cage (we use a shoe box for trips to the vet) and her cage is very big, so we couldn't really bring it outside with us. Second of all, the night was cold, so we thought it could be more dangerous to take her outside without any protection from the cold, especially if it turned out to be a false alarm - which it was. Plus, since time is of the essence in a fire situation, well we didn't know how we could catch Lola quickly and bring her with us.
Ever since, I've been wandering what to do in case of another fire alarm. Has that ever happened to any of you? What did you do? What would you recommend for us?
Obviously I hope this will never happen again, but I prefer to be safe than sorry.
I live in a senior apartment building and when the fire alarm goes off it is so loud my insides shake and teeth rattle. My cat runs under the bed hiding so I could not get her in a carrier. My birds are so stressed out by the loud sound to get them in a carrier would cause more stress then they could stand. So what I do is put the carriers out near the animals and have a large red sign on the door for rescue of animals inside in case if fire or smoke. Its the best I can do. Could not carry them down 3 flights of steps to begin with due to weight.
This indeed is a hard question.
I haven't really thought about anything like this till you mentioned it happening to you. Let us pray you never have a real fire to have to face the life threatening decisions regarding your pets.
I can completely understand how you can't grab your birds, nor can you carry a huge flight cage
I will be interested to see what members come up with.
Do you cover at night and does your cage have wheels? If so I would just throw a cover on the cage and wheel it outside. If that doesn't work due to stairs etc then may I suggest either making a carrier or buying one. Mine only cost $14 so really carriers can be bought for very cheap and you can ditch the shoe box.
To give context to this story. It happened in 2011 and my son is in a wheelchair and technology dependent (from a condition present at birth).
Yes, I was in an F4 tornado. It leveled our house. I had my then 6 year old son in my arms and my parents 80lb dog panicked I couldn't get her to budge. I left her behind because if I stayed my son and I would have been killed. The guinea pig already lived in the basement but I had to leave him behind while evacuating. I couldn't carry a guinea pig and my son's medical equipment, wheelchair and my son while climbing over debris, downed trees and power lines. We were able to make it back about 36 hours afterwards and I found the guinea pig safe where I left him in the basement. We looked for the dog but couldn't find any trace of her then one day her picture showed up on one of the Facebook pages trying to match dogs to owners in the aftermath of the tornado. She must have found a safe place to hide but I don't know where because the part she panicked in collapsed. We didn't own a bird at the time but if I had I probably would left it behind in the basement with the guinea pig.
Never been in a fire (ok a few small kitchen fires, I wasn't the most skilled cook when I was in my 20s), nor a major hurricane unless you count a cat 1 hurricane or the outer bands of cat 2 hurricane but nothing else major.
I was actually wondering the same thing. Not with a fire in our house, since, even though my kids have a huge double-flight cage, I'd still force that sucker out the door since it's on wheels. I was actually worried about a tornado since there were tornado warnings for our area. I know you were asking about what to do in case of a fire, but I'm sure you wouldn't mind if I posted what to do in case of a tornado .
I was thinking that if there's a tornado, and you're unable to get your birds to safety, you should have some laminated pieces of paper (or paper in ziplock baggies) that have all your contact information written on them, then stick them in the cage (the more, the better). It wouldn't be a bad idea to include addresses for local avian vets in case your budgies are injured.
Then, you should get a nice warm blanket or towel (preferably waterproof), and securely attach it to their cage.
Make sure you put enough food in their cage to last them at least a few days. It would be a good idea to also put birdie bread, spray millet, and treat sticks in their cage since they wouldn't end up falling out of the cage like seed or pellets might. Then, if a tornado does suck up the cage, at least the blanket will protect them from the wind and help keep them warm, and if it's waterproof, it'll keep them dry; they won't go hungry; and people would know how to contact you if they find your cage. Heck, it wouldn't be a bad idea to get a GPS tracker or two and attach it to the cage just in case.
As for a fire, you could maybe keep a small carrier or something in Lola's cage, and teach her to go in it when she's scared. Not sure how easily you could teach her, but it's worth a try. Actually, it wouldn't be a bad idea to teach young budgies to go in their carrier when their frightened, just like we do with puppies. Maybe even teach her to go in when you ring a bell or something? You could also shove wet towels underneath the doors in your apartment to help prevent smoke from getting in, and maybe put a damp towel over her cage, too. It would definitely buy her at least a few more minutes to be rescued.
Glad everything worked out for you mekat.
Samantha, Charlie, Ju, Rumi, Lara, Pollo, Ziggy, and Alice
Rest in Peace
Sam, Nova, Joey, Maria, and Scarlet (March 4, 2014)
Thanks for the suggestions. My parents are elderly and at the time only used landlines. The dog had her collar on and had ID. Problem was the address and phone numbers were to a house taken out by the tornado (half the town was wiped out). The tornado missed the vets office by about 1/4 of a mile so it was still standing.
The person who took the dog in wasn't really an animal rescuer. The firemen going house to house checking for survivors just handed the dog over to first woman they saw willing to take the leash.
She did call the vets number listed on the rabies tag. The staff knew my family and the dog well. They requested she bring the dog to them but she insisted on keeping the dog with her. A friend of a friend found the picture on Facebook and told us. None of us were looking on Facebook, we were checking with people who were there in an official capacity to shelter the animals until animals and families could be reunited. Remember computers and internet access are hard to come by when your home and cars have been destroyed.
I'm glad that you managed to be safe during the tornado mekat and that you found your dog in good health afterwards. That must've been a hellish experience.
We don't get tornados here, but having our names on the cage and putting wet towels or at least a cover is probably doable. It's so hard to plan for things like this because we never know exactly how things will happen.