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evacuation procedures

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  • evacuation procedures

    Hi everyone,

    In light of all the grass fires in Texas and tornado destruction across the heartland, I was wondering about my own evacuation procedure to get all my children and animals out of the house if I needed to. It got me to wondering if any of you have such a plan in place for your families, geckos and other animals. If you do have a plan, would you mind sharing it so we can learn from it? I'm always looking for new, faster methods to get things done and evacuating animals is one of them.

    Here in Amarillo our main concern right now is wildfire. The dryline is too far east to worry us right now, although when it moves (if ever) tornadoes will be a concern then.
    Right now my main plan in case of fire evacuation is to get the kids and dogs in the car with our portable safe that contains important documents. Grab rabbit in her cage and toss in car then put my geckos in a critter keeper (seeing as I only have two cresteds and one leo this will be easy). I have a small small salamander than can go in the travel cup one of my geckos came in and then go in the critter keeper with the geckos. Not really concerned too much with space as speed and ease of carrying. We also have a rough green snake that I'm thinking would need a bag and her own KK too.

    Yesterday they evacuated NW Amarillo neighborhoods because of fires in the area and southern homes by the Palo Duro Canyon. A few weeks ago a southeastern community was evacuated and 20-30 homes were lost. Out here, it seems a good evac plan is essential.

    For those of you who have large collections, what do you do? So many animals may be hard to travel with or pack quickly. Any information you can provide I'm sure will be invaluable to the rest of us, owners of small collections or large. Thanks so much for your information.


  • #2
    You know, this is a great thought, and one I hadn't considered since starting my gecko collection...

    The biggest issue here is hurricanes, and they're just so incredibly unpredictable that other than stocking up on supplies, it's super hard to figure out where to evacuate TO... last time we were considering evacuating it's a good thing we didn't, because the family we were considering going to stay with up north actually ended up hit much harder than we were! (We were without electric for only 2 days, they were without electric for 2 weeks!)

    I think my biggest worry with my geckos would be heat. It's always super hot and muggy after a hurricane goes through, and if we're without electric (no A/C), ice and fresh water also can be in short supply. We've got a big generator, but we wouldn't be able to run the entire house off of it for too long, especially if there was also a gas shortage...

    I might need to buy a small freezer to keep out in the garage to stock up on ice next time a hurricane rolls near... hmm.

    I think I also am going to make sure that I have enough of my smaller 24qt sterilite containers to hold all my adults in addition to my juvies- those would be much easier to stack and move around in the event of an evacuation than my adult enclosures, and would be OK I think for adults to live in temporarily.

    I probably also should put together a checklist of all the supplies I would absolutely need to take with me (food, spray bottle, etc).

    So those are my thoughts so far, I'm really interested in what ideas everyone else has!


    • #3
      We had this exact issue creep up earlier this spring, main worry here is tornado. We now have a kk or small tub for both geckos (right now the little one in still pretty portable). And the general rule of thumb is if we see severe weather, all critters (three dogs and two geckos) are moved to the basement. Humans follow direction much better if things start to turn that way. And with it being just tornados, we don't worry as much about having food stores, etc as we can usually hit a grocery or pet store and get Matt to deliver CGD to another location before anyone starves.
      2.1.0 Human kids (Sam '02, Danny '05, & Kyleigh '05)
      2.1.0 Furry kids (Silk, Border Collie '03, Velvet, Border Collie '11)
      0.1.1 Cresties (Sticky 10/10, and Maple 2010)


      • #4
        I was thinking about this the other day too! My plan (so far) is to get deli cups for each gecko, then get enough tubs to take with us to later house them in (temporarily). Theres no way we could fit all the tanks into two cars...theres just too many. I hadnt thought about having enough food to bring with us though. I guess I would just grab the amount that I had in the fridge at the time and try to gather the dishes for them too.

        Also, for my boa, right now she is a good size to fit into the snake bag I have (one of those burlap sack type things that snakes come in). If I didnt have that, or if I had to move her once she is bigger, I would use a pillow case.

        We also talked to a few people and secured at least 2 places to bring all the animals to if we did have to evacuate with everyone. This was our biggest concern because not everyone is willing to let you bring 20+ animals to their house for an unknown amount of time haha.

        My biggest fear is the AC going out. It went out for a while last summer and man, was it hot. It would easily get to over 90 in the house within a couple of hours so there would be no time to spare. Ughhh this worries me more and more every time I think about it.
        Lots of Cresteds, a few Gargs, 1.0 Mainland Chew, 0.0.1 PI Chew, 0.1 U. Sikorae, and a 0.1 Red Tail Boa
        iHerp Facebook page Great Rhacs
        BOI thread


        • #5
          I don't really have anything to add but YIKES, and I hope you never have to use your evac plan once it's in place.

          I live on the other end of Texas, (El Paso), and we set a new record for no rain this week, 110 days and still counting! I can't even remember the last time it rained here. Luckily the area is very scrubby and dusty, so we don't have any huge issues with fires usually.
          My iHerp[/SIZE][/CENTER]


          • #6
            Originally posted by amandarenee View Post
            I don't really have anything to add but YIKES, and I hope you never have to use your evac plan once it's in place.

            I live on the other end of Texas, (El Paso), and we set a new record for no rain this week, 110 days and still counting! I can't even remember the last time it rained here. Luckily the area is very scrubby and dusty, so we don't have any huge issues with fires usually.

            You can certainly have some of our rain here in Missouri, I don't think we've had more than three days without rain all year.
            2.1.0 Human kids (Sam '02, Danny '05, & Kyleigh '05)
            2.1.0 Furry kids (Silk, Border Collie '03, Velvet, Border Collie '11)
            0.1.1 Cresties (Sticky 10/10, and Maple 2010)


            • #7
              Here in Minnesota we have only two worries:

              1) winter weather

              2) tornadoes in summer

              winter weather
              This one is tricky.. the best preparation for any issues is merely to have a backup generator, as the only real big concern is losing power/heat and getting snowed in at the same time. I live in an apartment, and have a supply of 48hr heat packs. I can pack up my herps as if I was going to ship 'em, and leave them boxed up for two days if needed.


              We've had the tornado sirens go off twice so far this year. We keep all the herps in the basement (safest part of the house) year 'round, and then bring our house rabbit down there with us when the sirens go off.

              I also have a collection of sterilites of various sizes that are generally temporary herp housing for QT purposes, if there was some other big problem and I had enough warning, I could pack up all the herps in lightweight sterilites and get them in the car in under 10 minutes. I have friends and family both nearby and within a day's drive providing plenty of options of various distances to escape almost any unforeseen tragedy.
              [b][u]My iHerp Profile[u][b]


              • #8
                Problem with our area is that tornadoes are so random and unpredictable, there isn't really a way to evacuate from one, unless you've got a basement or know someone who does. Packing everyone in the car and driving off could potentially be even more dangerous, if you get caught on the road by nasty weather or an actual tornado.=/

                [ 2.0 Kitteh ][ 1.1 Corn Snake ][ 0.1 Crested Gecko ][ 1.0 Gargoyle Gecko ][ 1.0 Ball Python ][ 1.0 Costa Rican BCI ][ 0.1 Leopard Gecko ][ 0.1 IJ Jag Carpet Python ]

                "It'll be a walk in the park... a very scary park, filled with monsters who are trying to kill me." -Lt. Col. Sheppard


                • #9
                  Some good ideas here by everyone. I hadn't thought of having a place to go to that would be cool with herps. It'd be my inlaws house if I had to guess but fortunately they are good with the geckos...I just wouldn't mention the snake and slip her in on the sly. :-) Pretty sure if it was a real evac situation my mother-in-law wouldn't care right then.

                  Tornadoes are terrifying. They sound like a freight train right on top of you. Sometimes there is just no time to protect anything but your family.


                  • #10
                    The main problems I forsee are fires and tornadoes.

                    I keep the round plastic containers from the grocery store that foods products are stored in (i.e. Llloyd's/Curly's Barbeque, Chi-chi's taco mix, etc.), wash them, and poke holes in the tops.

                    In the event of an emergency, I put one gecko per container. I can either bring them downstairs/outside one-by-one, or if time is really an issue, the containers fit pretty well into an empty 10gal tank, and I can just carry that downstairs/outside.

                    In the winter I have heat packs available if we need to go outside. Summer I don't see the heat as being as big of an issue because I can probably just put them in the car and put the A/C on.

                    I currently live in a townhouse so the geckos are kept upstairs - I can't wait to move into a bigger house with a basement soon so I don't have to get frantic and stress everyone out by bringing them downstairs every time the tornado siren goes off.
                    3.7.0 Rhacodactylus ciliatus [Crested Gecko]
                    0.1.0 Rhacodactylus auriculatus [Gargoyle Gecko]
                    1.1.0 Eublepharis macularius [Leopard Gecko]
                    1.0.0 Hemitheconyx caudicinctus [African Fat Tailed Gecko]


                    • #11
                      I live in a condo downtown Toronto... so I am lucky enough not to have to be concerned about tornados, hurricanes, floods...or anything really! but there is always the concern that one of my 500 neighbours could start a fire and we'd have to evacuate.

                      I've got a critter keeper for each of our geckos all set up and ready to go (i put them in there when I am cleaning the cages, and always make sure they are cleaned afterwards. they have a toilet paper roll and some fake foliage in them with paper towel on the bottom) and a big fabric bag to put them in.

                      My concern is that it will happen during the day when they are all sleeping and i won't have time to fish them out of their sleeping spot (normally inside bamboos!). I just figure if that happens I'll put the bamboos into a bag as is and bring the ck's with me for later!


                      • #12
                        Really interesting thread. Luckily in Central NY we don't have any real natural disasters to worry about. We had a tornado warning this past week which was random, we get one of those maybe once every ten years. We've only had one tornado that did damage and that was years and years back. I think the deli cup idea is a great idea for multiple geckos.
                        "I believe that education is all about being excited about something. Seeing passion and enthusiasm helps push an educational message."-Steve Irwin​