Cavies & severe weather/emergency preparedness


Post   » Thu Jul 24, 2003 10:42 am

Here in upstate NY, we had very severe thunderstorms and tornadoes rip through our area Monday night. One tornado touched down less than 1 mile from our house. Others touched down 2 to 4 miles from our house! Our power was knocked out for 44 hours - it wasn't restored until yesterday afternoon! (Believe me, not fun when one has a large family! One doesn't realize how much we rely on electricity for our everyday needs until that electricity is *not* there!)

Fortunately, I filled up the piggies' water bottles and also a pot for our drinking water before the storms came through. My in-laws, who live about 3 or 4 miles away, never lost their power, so we were able to get buckets of water for flushing toilets, etc.

This incident left me thinking, "How do you prepare your "furry friends" for emergencies?"

Here is what I've done:

* If I know a storm is coming, I "top off" the pigs' water bottles. I also add extra hay & pellets to the bowls, if necessary.

* I have a Marchioro carrier in the living room so I can grab the pigs quickly and put them in the carrier. This way I can bring them with us if we need to "evacuate" the house. (I have heard that one needs to make sure there are enough carriers to hold all the furry animals you have! It would be heartbreaking to have to leave some behind just because there weren't enough carriers to take them all!)

* I always have an extra bag of pellets in the freezer; extra hay and extra shavings are in containers in the basement. I wouldn't have to worry about running out of "piggy essentials" for quite some time.

Does any one else have emergency preparedness tips? What do you do to prepare your piggies for emergencies?

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Post   » Thu Jul 24, 2003 10:57 am

I have thought about this, too.

We are moving right now to a new farm...and one thing I will make sure of is that the windows in the animal room open and shut properly.

They will be on the main level, so I could put them in a kennel and set them out the window (this is if there were a house fire.) That way I wouldn't have to carry them throughout the house.

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Thanks for the Memories

Post   » Thu Jul 24, 2003 10:58 am

Carriers for all of them, and an extra bottle, small bag of litter and chow with our other emergency supplies. We already keep bottles of water for emergencies.


Post   » Thu Jul 24, 2003 11:19 am

We deal with this a lot in both the fall and spring. We keep milk jugs full of water in the deep freeze both to help keep it cool if the power goes out and for drinking water if we need it. We have city water so we don't have to deal with a pump. Along with what you have done we also in an actual tornado warning or if they are warning of high straight line winds we also:

bring the hamster cages downstairs to our safe place(inside bathroom with no windows),

Ava goes on a leash,

the pigs will go into a pet taxi thats put into the bathtub(yes I know pet taxis aren't the best for guinea pigs but it keeps them out of Ava's view which is very important),

Hammer our other dog either comes in or goes under the house or in the garage. He's not really comfortable in the house and sometimes has already picked his spot and won't come out.

Then the kids and I(for some reason my husband is never at home during a warning) go into the bathroom(off my bedroom) and wait it out.

The biggest thing I do is to keep an eye on the weather. I know which direction the storms usually come from and out TV weather people contstantly broadcast if there is a tornado warning anywhere in our broadcast area. If there is a storm in the neighboring county blowing in our direction I start everyone moving to get ready for it. This usually gives me plenty of time to get everyone moved and settled( and time to locate Hammer who is scared of thunder)

Even Republicans Give!

Post   » Thu Jul 24, 2003 11:57 am

Living in a hurricane prone area, I keep car carriers (w/rain covers for goign to/from car,)and all travel supplies for my two boars and two sows. If a storm is coming, I stock up on wet veggies (for water on the road!) and supplies and have a list of pet friendly shelters in the area.
I've had to evacuate once, and it was a bit akward with all four pigs in the car, but it was successful and I think the pigs had a fun adventure!


Post   » Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:07 am

The worst thing that has happened where I live was our local volcano blowing up. I didn't have any g pigs at the time (1995/6) but it was stressful keeping the horses and goats fed because of the volcanic fallout on the pasture and in the atmosphere. Fortunately we had lots of hay because the animals couldn't graze. If we had to evacuate, I'd take my 4 pigs in a carry case stuffed with hay, a 2 litre bottle of water and a bag of pellets, plus two bowls. I'd also be taking 4 dogs, 4 birds, 4 horses and 4 goats, plus my elderly mother! If it were a really serious rush job and we could only take the car, then I could only take the pigs, the birds & the dogs (oh, and mother!!). OMG I hope it NEVER happens!


Post   » Fri Jul 25, 2003 2:12 am

I'm rather obsessive about preparedness for my animals.

In most instances of tornado warnings, I have spare cages and carriers stored in my basement, which is where we would usually evacuate to anyway. I also have bottled drinking water down there, bedding, hay, and pellets are all stored down there as well, so they're sitting pretty.

If neccessary, I have a van that will carry all the animals for evacuation (altho I'm having a hard time picturing having to evacuate, given our location, altho a forest fire did come rather close a few years back).

I worry about ice storms in winter knocking out the power, and since we can get down to -30 around here, I have installed a gas powered generator for electricity, and a back up heating system that runs on propane independant of electricity.

We had power out for almost a week a couple years back when we got hit with an enormous windstorm that knocked out the power all over the upper half of the state. Water was at a premium everywhere, and local businesses that had generators ran hoses out to the curb so that people could fill up containers, and luckily it was summer and warm, altho we did end up having to compost most of what was in the freezers and refrigerators. Everyone had enormous barbeques for 3 meals a day trying to use up everything before it spoiled (and invited anyone and everyone they knew or was passing by) -- fortunately that isn't a problem with pig food.

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Supporter in '08

Post   » Fri Jul 25, 2003 10:11 am

I'm lucky, I don't think the area I live in has ever had tornadoes. I do worry about house fires though. Especially now that I live in a basement apartment. I think I would have to just toss them all in a smaller cage and get out as fast as I could! I hadn't thought about preparing for an extended power outage until I read this. I will definitely be setting up a plan for that.

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Pigs n' Pine

Post   » Fri Jul 25, 2003 10:14 am

I'll be so glad when we get a house. The rescue will be moved to a finished basement and I don't have to freak anymore. I'm so nervious living in a trailer park, tornados seem to go for them first. However, there has never been a tornado that went through here, I don't want to be here for the first.

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Post   » Fri Jul 25, 2003 10:30 am

No tornados here. We do live in the shadow, so to speak. of Mt. Rainier, a volcano. I could get the pigs and kids and myself out easily, but what about my herd of horses? Luckily we live far enough away, and the mountain is closely monitored, that we'd have some warning.

Our power goes out occasionally, and since we have an electric well, we have a generator.


Post   » Fri Jul 25, 2003 5:31 pm

Lisam, Mt Rainier is a biggie! But as you say, you should get plenty of warning. We are 50km from Mt Ruapehu in New Zealand and it erupts every 50 years of so, hopefully it won't again soon since the 90s eruptions. If Lake Taupo (biggest volcano in the world) which we also live very close to, decides to go, it's goodbye everything, but hey, it's been 1600 since the last one, why worry?? As you say, the horses are the biggest worry.

Knee Deep

Post   » Fri Jul 25, 2003 5:56 pm

I've thought about this lately too, with all the flood and tornado warnings..

The sows, I'd probably put as many as humanly possible in the bathtub(center of the house with no windows or exterior walls). Any sows I can't fit in the tub and the boars all have evacuation plans in laundry baskets to the basement with me and the other animals. The dogs will go in the finished bedroom that is down there, but I also have a few petstore cages and a couple empty fishtanks I can put them in down there so they are safe from the dogs too.

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Post   » Tue Jul 29, 2003 6:05 pm

I worry about this to and living in an apt. makes it worse I think I would put everyone in the tub and just hope everything turns out ok!

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Gave a Guinea!!

Post   » Tue Jul 29, 2003 6:21 pm

Well in the UK the worse we have to worry about (touch wood) is a tree getting blown over onto your house.

We did have an earthquake here not long ago - the pigs just slept straight through it though!


Post   » Tue Jul 29, 2003 7:07 pm

Paisley: Whereabouts in upstate NY do you live? Many times, people from NYC refer to the rest of the State as "upstate", while those of us who really live in "upstate" NY are not sure what they're talking about! lol I live in Victor which is southeast of Rochester ( Rochester is on the shores of Lake Ontario ) and northwest of Canandaigua ( which is on the north end of Canandaigua Lake ). I knew about some storms going through the Southern Tier just recently ( which we happily missed ); is that where you live? Did you get an ice storm at the beginning of this past April?


Post   » Tue Jul 29, 2003 7:22 pm

I've thought about what I would do in a disaster with my piggie and other animals but never really tried to prepare for it. There's really not that many disasters here the worst thing would be an earthquake (i live in ca) but other than that nothing else. I think I will keep something handy in my room though( where my pig is) just in case I have to run out of the house i can put him in something , as for the other animals I've got : 1 horse,2 birds, 2 bunnies, 2 cats, a dog, and 3 fish to worry about! =)

Skol Pigs!

Post   » Tue Jul 29, 2003 7:56 pm

Good ideas posted here, I hadn't really thought about these things. Here in southern Minnesota, tornadoes would be about the only natural disaster threat. We don't get many blizzards or ice storms, so power rarely goes out. I live on a hill, so no floods. No volcanoes or earthquakes (I hope!). Right now I'm kinda concerned about what may happen tonight. There may be severe thunderstorms around and my piggies are very sensitive to sound. The dog barks outside and they run to their pigloo making that little whirring sound. Because they're so young and it's been kind of a drought around here lately I'm pretty sure they've never heard thunder. We shall see what happens!


Post   » Tue Jul 29, 2003 9:02 pm


I live about 20 - 25 minutes south of Albany.

Yes, we had an icestorm in April. My son's birthday was on the 4th. He was moaning all day.... he thought for sure his grandparents wouldn't be able to make it over for cake. The storm held off just long enough that they were able to visit for a short time.

I hope we don't have any more tornadoes come through here for a long, long time. The amount of damage in some of the neighborhoods is unbelievable. The tornadoes were only F1's and F2's, too! I guess we were fortunate that our power was only out for 44 hours. We saw one of the town supervisors over the weekend and he said some parts of the area were out of power for 4 to 5 days!


Post   » Wed Jul 30, 2003 12:27 am

Oh man, Paisley! Didn't we have a wonderful (!) winter this year? Some of us are STILL talking about it. I told my dental hygienist yesterday, that we had had 2 winters in one, so we ( knock on wood ) are only going to have an extended Indian Summer this year, until next spring! ** Don't I wish! **

Glad to see you made it through the tornadoes. I've experienced straight-line winds ( very damaging ) before and they aren't fun! I hope never to experience even the smallest of tornadoes. I have always been afraid of windstorms.


Post   » Wed Jul 30, 2003 9:13 am


Yes, what a winter! I don't mind the snow, though, as I am a cold weather person. The kids had a great time this past winter making snow forts & sledding tracks. I think at one point we had 4 feet of snow or so on the ground. Ahhh... an "ole' fashioned winter" - just like the ones I remember from my childhood.

However, I could do without all the ice storms we had. Not only did we have the one in April but we had some here in November, too! Ice storms are just too dangerous!

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