My Timneh Grey, Jing, and I live in San Francisco, where we always have the earthquake spector hanging over us. In 1989 we had the Loma Prieta earthquake, measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale. The United States Geological Survey lists quakes of that size as major events that cause serious damage. Although large (6.5 and above) earthquakes happen only every 50 to 100 years, earthquakes are unlike other natural disasters, in that there's no warning and damage is often widespread, so we have to be prepared on a day to day basis for a major earthquake.
Earthquake preparation takes several forms--the house and the car. In the house Jing and I are prepared to withstand structural damage, lack of water and food for several days and the need for quick evacuation. I keep several bottles of water at my house and my business, since an earthquake could happen while Jing and I are at either place. I also keep a few days worth of canned food for me and dry food for Jing, should we be unable to buy food.
Regarding structural damage, Jing's cages both at home and the office are free standing, heavy metal constructed units with sturdy playpens on top. I keep the top pan in the top on both cages. Should something fall on a cage, the playpen top and pan will keep her safe from most falling objects, including ceiling beams.
Evacuation is always a consideration, especially if there are broken gas mains involved. Under Jing's cages are cloth bags, called Emergengy Evacuation Bags that come from Crystal Parrots Creations (413-527-2550). They are large canvas bags with air holes, firm bottoms, zippered tops and carrying straps. I keep the tops unzipped. Should we have to evacuate quickly, I can easily put Jing in the bag, zip it up, and sling the straps over my shoulders so I can carry other objects and leave.
If we have to evacuate, Jing and I are prepared to live from my car for a few days, if necessary. I keep in the trunk a medium sized folding cage, complete with food dishes, perches and toys for Jing. I also keep several days worth of clothes for me, food for Jing, water for both of us, paper towels, emergency veterinary supplies and an extra blanket and jacket for warmth for both of us.
Does it sound like I'm paranoid? Actually, it's not being paranoid, just prepared. Once you put the necessary items in their proper places, you can go about your daily business knowing that, while there probably won't be another major earthquake in the next 30 years, you're still prepared if there is.
This article was first published in the Fall 1996 issue of the Grey Play Round Table® African Grey Magazine: www.AfricanGreys.com ; www.AnimalLoversUnited.com ; www.NaturesCornerMagazine.com
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