** To all of you asking how you can make a supporting donation - THANK YOU in advance… and you can do so here.
** If you are interested in volunteering on a critical needed basis, please send an email to BirdMother@flabirdsanctuary.org or go to our website for additional volunteering information.
** To all of our “parronts” that have placed their birds in our care, please know that we take critical incidents very seriously and we are fully engaged in our Critical Event Plan.
** Please understand that in the case of an event, all our resources will be dedicated to securing the sanctuary and the care of the birds. Accordingly, updates will only be provided via our email blog updates.
With the hurricane season well upon us, and the threat of disruption from Hurricane Irma, we wanted to provide an update on our FEBS Critical Incident Hurricane and Disaster Plan—and make an early request for volunteers that would be able to assist us should our sanctuary experience such as event.
Our documented plan provides step-by-step information to build the necessary response capability in the event of a disaster at the Florida Exotic Bird Sanctuary. The intent of this plan is not only for FEBS stakeholders (employees, board members and volunteers)—but also to provide adequate information for community resources, including emergency response leaders, animal resources and other local and county volunteers.
We believe that it is best to be overly cautious when a disaster advisory or warning has been issued. Preparing ahead of time and acting quickly are the best ways to keep our birds out of danger. Our plan covers several types of disasters that could impact the sanctuary and/ or the surrounding areas including flooding, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes and other severe weather (such as windstorms and lightning).
In addition to the physical impact of the disaster, FEBS must be prepared for the possible disruption of services for extended periods of time, including gas, electricity, phone (cellular and land lines), internet service, and local sources of food, water and fuel.
As our plan is quite lengthy (over 60 pages long), we would like to cover some of the salient points within it that include:
A current list of emergency contacts, including staff, our veterinarian, board members, fire and police departments, animal control, FEMA, the public health department, food suppliers, utility and security companies, etc.
A multi-day and/or hour schedule of preparations as for many events, we are fortunate to have several day advance warnings. Although each type of emergency may dictate deviations from the schedule, we have prepared a guideline of emergency preparedness events and timeframes.
FEBS Evacuation Kits and guidelines for assembling, storing and using kit items. This is perhaps one of the most critical elements of our plan as it details items that we keep on hand in a basic emergency kit as well as a bird specific kit. Examples of items in the bird specific kit include a SEVEN-DAY supply of food and clean water; a cage/carrier for each bird (that has a perch, toys, water bottle and no spill/ automatic feeder); handling gloves and catch nets; cloth covers to keep the birds warm if necessary; and cage cleaning supplies.
Some of our guidelines for the Bird Kits are to keep all kit contents in easy-to-carry, waterproof containers that are labeled in permanent marker with FEBS contact information and replacing the food, water, and medications as often as needed to maintain quality and freshness and in accordance with expiration dates. We also have clear instructions for how to equip each cage/carrier with perches, toys, water bottles and feeders. We also have documented instructions on how to evacuate birds from every type of sanctuary enclosure, including flight cages, aviaries and free-standing cages in our intake/ quarantine facility.
In the event that an evacuation is necessary, we relocate the birds to a safe facility that is located adjacent to our sanctuary. This facility is equipped with generators, electrical cords, fans, lights on timers, folding tables (to elevate cages in the event of a significant flooding event), wet vac and pumps, and of course this is where we house bird cage/carriers.
Post disaster procedures, including ensuring that the sanctuary has fully-functioning electricity and water; checking all aviaries, flight cages and indoor cages to ensure they are safe, secure and have perches and toys; and examining each bird closely (and contacting our veterinarian immediately if we observe injuries or signs of illness).
Our plan also covers emergency procedures for the dogs and chickens that reside at FEBS, as well as for our business office, caretaker residence and other facilities we use for storing food and supplies.