Sunday, April 27, 2014

Disaster Preparedness

Dahlings! As most of you are aware, there is a strong possibility that there will be tornadoes here in Alabama over the next couple of days. Are you and your bunnies tornado ready? What's that you say? You don't know what to do? Well, my dear readers, I am here to help!

You need to be thinking about two things: a) how can you keep your bunny comfortable during a severe weather event, and b) how can you keep her comfortable in the days after, when there might be power outages and stores may not be open.

Let's talk about the first. You should have a carrier ready for your bunny (one for each bunny you have - remember that a bonded pair may start to fight if they are crammed together in a carrier for any length of time). This carrier should be sturdy and big enough for the bunny to sit up and turn around in.

Put a towel in the bottom (because your bunny may have to pee while she's in there and you want something absorbent for this) and put some hay in, too. Attach a small water bottle to the front of the carrier. A toy is always a nice addition so your bunny doesn't get bored.

This is my carrier. See how it has everything I need for waiting out a tornado?

Make sure you have a tag with your address, or write it on the carrier with a Sharpie pen. This way if your bunny gets separated from you in the aftermath of a tornado there will be some identification on her carrier.

And let's talk about ID for your bunny! If your bunny will tolerate a harness with ID tag, you can put that on her while she's in her carrier. You should also have a few photos of you and your bunny on hand, in case you have to show them to rescue folks to identify your rabbit.

But you know what the best ID is? A microchip! Yes, bunnies can be, and should be, microchipped.

I know that you all think that every thing will be fine, and losing your precious bunny in a tornado or other disaster could never happen to you. But it could! If your pets are taken in by rescue groups after a disaster, a microchip makes it easy for them to reunite you. And it can't get lost like a harness might.

I have a microchip! It's the trendy thing to do!

Ok, so you and your bunny have gotten through the actual tornado, and now all the power is out and stores are closed. This may go on for a few days. Maybe your house has been damaged and you need to evacuate. What do you need to have on hand so that your bunny is comfy and happy?

Remember that if the power is out, the refrigeration will also be off. Keep a cooler with ice handy for all those veggies you stocked up on before the storm. That's right! You need to stock up on veggies! Even if  the stores are open without power the veggies they have will soon be wilted so have a good supply on hand. If you think melting ice will be messy, freeze water in plastic bottles (like soda bottles). This is good, because after it melts you have an extra supply of water, too.

Do it now! Surely you must have some empty soda bottles around?!

It goes without saying that you'll need hay and pellets! Put a few days supply together before the storm in case you have to evacuate. Put a couple of gallons of water in your kit, too - enough for cleaning as well as drinking. A garbage bag, small litter box, litter and some basic cleaning supplies will round off your bunny evacuation kit. You can find a complete checklist of what you need here: HRS Disaster Prep Checklist

You can find more tips for disaster preparedness at these pages:
A nice article from the Wisconsin HRS
The Humane Society's advice
Really Great Advice from the folks at Rabbitwise! Read this page!!
And more good advice from the PigsNBuns folks!

Well Dahlings, I hope this will help you get started! Remember, disaster can strike at any time, so whether it's tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes or zombies - BE PREPARED!!!

Mrs. Brighton

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