Disaster Basics

Basic Disaster Plan for Imperiled Wild Psittacines

Immediate Evacuation or First Responder/Immediate Disaster Scene (no time for proper preparation)

Some disasters occur with no warning nor time for preparation. The goal is to capture and transport birds as quickly and safely as possible. There may be no time to collect, prepare and transport birds as described in pre-planning. This is the “grab-and-go”, “life-or-death”, absolute necessity do-what- you-have-to situation. It does not take the place of proper preparation and training. Pre-disaster training in these emergency techniques is strongly advised. There will be casualties and failure.

Capture and Restraint

If aviaries/cages/building need to be immediately evacuated or have suffered extreme damage, birds will have to be captured and transported. Practice makes perfect! The goals are rapid, safe-to-human-and-bird, efficient, secure methods with as little stress as possible.

  • nets if available

  • towels

  • blanket, cloth, drapery, etc.

  • shirts/clothing

  • bare-hande


Supplies good to have on hand:

  • tool kit

  • cable ties, duct tape, hair ties, bungies

  • pillow cases: a supply of pillow cases, rolled with a hair 2e or elas2c band, should be within reach of every cage and flight. safe, rapid, portable, even chewing and fran2c birds are calm and not injured by the confinement.

  • t-shirt: cable tie or knot the openings. Bird can be captured with it and the item inverted over the bird for rapid capture and containment.

  • paper bags: non-chewing, injured, or small birds (cannot be wet)

  • laundry basket/bucket: bungie a towel over the top, towel or cloth in the bottom of the

  • cardboard box with towel or cloth in the bottom: will work for a short period

  • utility tub: cut air holes, secure tops with bungie or tape

  • coolers with air holes (remember they are airtight and birds will suffocate if no ventilation); secure tops with bungie or tape


  • identification and photos (digital) consistent with disaster training if possible

  • on foot

  • cart or wheelbarrow on foot

  • motor vehicle

  • open truck

  • auto

  • disaster response team transport


Disasters may destroy or contaminate existing food supplies. Tropical conditions will promote spoilage and mold. Food procured under dire circumstances must be:

  • sanitary: clean, free of mold, rot, insects, rodent contamination

  • wholesome and proper nutrition: as appropriate to the species

  • stable: storage or shelf-life in adverse conditions with electricity or without electricity

Emergency recommendations for food

  • fresh: cooked rice, beans, wind-fall fruits and vegetables which have not been contaminated, foods approved for human consumption

  • canned: vegetables, beans, rice, etc.

  • MRE: vegetarian options including rice and pasta and bean dishes
    emergency options: peanut butter/rice/cornmeal balls


Drinking and bathing water must be sanitary and free of contamination.

  • water purification tablets can be toxic to birds

  • emergency purification recommendations include filters for particulates, toxins/heavy metals, microbes including viruses

  • rain water still needs to be treated eg air pollution and collection contamination

Food and Water for birds that cannot be captured

Remote feeding and watering stations may help wild birds in need. They need to be in safe and secure areas, be cleaned and replenished regularly, and be predator- and rodent-proof.


  • facility or camp requirements for injured non-injured birds

  • security

  • capture and restraint supplies, bedding, perches, cleanliness


  • immediate emergency care for individual birds

  • dark, quiet warm

  • hydration

  • feeding

  • triage treatment

  • basic first aid kit

  • triage

  • disaster injuries

  • prognostication

  • disease screening

  • quarantine

  • translocation issues

  • safety and public health

Emergency kit/supplies

        • Depot/cache/onsite/offsite

        • tool kit

        • first aid kit for humans and birds

        • nets: collapsible pole nets, throw nets, other appropriate capture equipment towels

        • blankets

        • gloves

        • folding cages or crates of appropriate bar spacing and size for psittacines

        • utility cages

        • travel cages

        • puppy crates

        • carriers

        • net cages

        • utility tubs: cut air holes, secure tops with bungie or tape

        • towels/newspaper for bedding

        • perching

        • food and water bowls

        • disinfectants

        • cleaning equipment and supplies

        • portable aviary/enclosures (in a pinch, a family-sized tent with appropriate perching and ground cloth can work for a limited time period for some species)

        • lighting (battery, solar, and/or generator-powered)