We are having an uneasy day here keeping an eye on the weather which is predicted to be quite severe in Georgia later this evening. We are hearing this season already called the most active tornado season on record and the season lasts until July, so that is not good at all to be in the tornado regions of the country. I cannot begin to describe what it is like to catch, cage, and move rabbits to a safer location in the midst of a raging storm with tornado sirens going off full blast. We have fortunately to date had tornado warnings, but no actual tornadoes. So we have been able to get our drill and preparedness together without disaster as the teacher.
Everyone should have some plans in place should they need to relocate both humans and pets in a hurry or be able to sustain in place on your own for at least a week if need be. In addition to natural disasters, chemical spills or fires and terrorist attacks could lead to unexpected and speedy evacuations or an inability to be able to go home or leave home.
We looked at recommendations for what to keep on hand and where it was best stored. We don’t have a basement for tornadoes, but we do have a half bath and a room sized pantry side by side on the first floor that are interior rooms which become our tornado hiding places and storage for emergency rations and equipment. The pantry is large enough to hold the week of food and water recommended for emergencies and can also hold the bunny cage when we have to stow them safely during a tornado threat. We have always had batteries on hand and flashlights in every room, since we found out early on that sudden power losses and a roaming black rabbit aren’t a good combination. We have frozen cool packs that are kept ready in our original refrigerator that we had put in the garage, coolers are stored at the ready on top of that fridge.
In our half bath safe room, we have a weather radio with a battery backup, so that we can follow the weather to know when it is safe to come back out. One spring season, a tornado came through just a few miles south of us taking out the power. The weather radio on battery backup alerted us that there was a second storm with another tornado following just minutes after the first one ended. We stayed put where we were and thankfully there was no damage to us, but many in the area lost homes and a couple of people died in the storm.
Rabbits hate to be picked up, so make sure you practice and get them used to it some of the time so that you have some way of getting hold of your rabbit quickly should you need to. Tigger and Shadow have slowed down some with age, but planning ahead to have them already in a cage or carrier when we know a bad storm is brewing helps a lot. They are out running around now for their exercise so that we can have them calmer and caged in a safe place later before the worst weather is due to hit.
Here are some House Rabbit Society links on emergency preparedness: