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  1. #1
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Preparing for power outages

    In light of the recent storm that had us out of power here in CT for 2+ days, I wanted to post about preparing for a power outage, and encourage others to comment as well and fill in anything I missed.

    As discussed in my post https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...-you-generator, we prepared for outages by having a whole home generator installed. This is ideal as your home operates essentially as it would if connected to electricity like it normally is.

    However, it's an expensive option and not necessarily something everyone can do.

    Here is a list of ways to prepare for power outages:

    1. Generator - whole home is preferable, but you can also get smaller ones just to run the heat in the winter and the your reptile tanks. This is the most expensive option, but also the most complete.

    2. For the winter, have reptile heat packs on hand. NEVER USE HAND WARMERS, etc. For the summer, have reptile cold packs on hand.

    https://www.reptilebasics.com/shipping-supplies/

    Insulated boxes are great as well. Basically, the above shipping supplies are ideal for dealing with outages regardless of time of year/season.

    Keep in mind too hot can kill reptiles just as too cold can. Know your species and what temps they need.

    3. DO NOT FEED BEFORE A STORM

    Reptiles need proper temps for digestion. If you know a storm is coming, do not feed for a day or two before, depending on species. For lizards who eat regularly, 2 days is probably good. For snakes and lizards who eat less frewuently, 3-4 days is better.

    4. Try to have a plan of where you can go if you need to move your reptiles. The more backups the better depending on how many people have lost power in your area. The larger the collection, the more problematic this becomes - I have 12 tanks, hence the whole home generator. Moving all the reptiles would be difficult at best.

    5. Try to keep your reptiles in part of the house that has consistent temps and insulation.

    Basements - underground and insulated - are ideal.

    My reptile area/room is in the basement. It's an underground finished basement. Even if power went out in the summer, it would never get too hot for anyone I have down there. About 80F is the hottest without an AC unit running (which I run to keep temps and humidity consistent). In the winter, the insulation would help keep temps from dropping too quickly.


    This is what I have thought of so far.

    Please, if I missed anything, chime in with other ideas.

    Stay safe and prepared out there my reptile loving friends.

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  3. #2
    Registered User WrongPython's Avatar
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    Re: Preparing for power outages

    These are all very good points dakski. I think this thread should be a sticky -- it seems as though we don't have an "emergency preparedness" one yet.

    I would really like to stress point #4. Folks, it doesn't matter where you live or how many/what types of pets you have: you need an evacuation plan! This is particularly true if you live in an area prone to natural disasters.

    Ideally, you should have evacuation plans for two types of emergencies: immediate emergencies and advanced notice emergencies. Immediate emergencies are the "we only have five minutes to get everyone out of here" types of emergencies such as tornadoes and fast-moving wildfires, while advanced notice emergencies are the "evacuation order's out, we should pack up and go" types such as hurricanes.

    When dealing with immediate emergencies, you should know what you have to do if you only have 5, 10, or 20 minutes to grab your animals and get to safety. If there's a tornado warning and you have to move now, you may have to throw everyone together in the same pillow case and rush to shelter. If you have 30 minutes to flee from a fast-moving wildfire, you may time to secure them individually. These types of emergencies are why it's important to have your emergency supplies organized and immediately on hand -- you won't have the time or level-headedness you need to dig through your closet for your kit if you're fleeing for your (and your animals') life.

    Advanced notice emergencies are a bit easier to respond to by comparison. You should be able to secure all of your animals individually, pack their long-term supplies, and gather anything else you might need. In cases like these, you should evacuate as soon as you can -- do not wait until the last minute! Storms and wildfires can change course very quickly and evacuation windows can slam shut ahead of schedule. If your emergency officials are telling you to get out, get out. It's better to be safe than sorry.

    In addition to having an evacuation plan, you should also have a post-disaster plan. What would you do if your home was destroyed? What if your home is fine, but you won't have utilities/a place to get food/etc. for a week? How would you house and take care of your animals? Perhaps you could leave them with a friend in another town, perhaps you have some spare tub setups for them to live in while you stay at your evacuation point. Remember, you shouldn't just plan for the storm itself, but its aftermath as well.

    I'll use myself and my situation as an example for what this type of planning may look like. I'm about to move to a part of my state that's prone to coastal storms (ie. hurricanes and nor'easters) and the rare tornadoes they spawn, so I need to know what to do in both immediate and advanced notice emergencies. If a tornado's coming, I have a special backpack just for the snakes that I can throw them in (with or without pillowcases) and run -- it can even fit my Sonoran's favorite log in it, in case she's wedged in there and I don't have time to get her out. If a hurricane's coming and I have time to pack before I evacuate, I have 20L setups for each of them that are small enough to fit in my car (along with my fish and personal effects) yet large enough for them to live comfortably in in case I'm forced away from home indefinitely. These "evacuation quarters" could also be used to house them somewhere else with power in the event I have a random long-term outage as well.

    If you're looking to form a plan (or would like an explanation that's probably a bit clearer than the one I just gave ), I'd highly recommend checking out Lori Torrini's YouTube page. She has a couple of emergency preparedness videos up there that lay things out. Thanks for the original recommendation for the videos, Caitlin!
    0.1 Sonoran Boa sigma​: "Adelita" ('19 Hypo het. leopard)
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  5. #3
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    Thanks, Dakski Dave for another fantastic thread!!

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  7. #4
    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    A few thoughts while trying to coordinate help for keepers struggling with the freeze and extended power outages in Texas:

    Take a look right now, today, at your own setup for dealing with a climate emergency or evacuation. Stop procrastinating! Hey, we all do it, but really -- get this taken care of now. To cope with a power outage, have on hand:

    1. Snake bags or pillowcases, one per animal. Have them in a spot where you can easily get to them, or store them in the tubs mentioned below.

    2. Sterilite/Iris transport tubs with air holes. If you only have a few snakes, you can bag them all and put them into one larger tub. Inside each tub, you can stash:

    3. Enough UniHeat shipping packs to warm your animals for several days. You can get these from Reptile Basics, Shipyourreptiles, Pangea, or Amazon. If your area has the possibility of extreme heat events, then also get Phase 22 (Cryopaks) or cold packs. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS NOW, while things are calm, so you'll know how to safely use these in an emergency.

    4. A UTH + cheap thermostat (Uniheat or Jumpstart or whatever) and power cord for each tub in case you are fortunate enough to be able to get your animals somewhere with power.

    5. Bottled water (just throw a small bottle or two into each tub) and a water bowl.

    6. A towel and a roll of paper towels.

    This is a simple setup to put together, and can help get your snakes safely through a power outage. It will also allow you to transport them to another site if you are able to get to an area that has power.

    Additional tip: Identify and make plans in advance with friends who would be willing to take your animals in if they have power and you don't.
    1.0 Jungle Carpet Python 'Ziggy'
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  9. #5
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Excellent advice as usual, Caitlin.

    I would suggest adding twist-tie wires and/or rubber bands for securing those ^ ^ ^ snake bags & pillow cases. It's a real pain to find all these things in the dark.

    Stashed in my garage is an assortment of thick styro-foam shipping boxes & large ice chests. Seldom used, but absolutely essential when needed. Emergencies also occur when it's hot, btw.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  11. #6
    BPnet Senior Member jmcrook's Avatar
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    Re: Preparing for power outages

    I’m now part of team “no power”. Have bags and tubs ready, but going to check my campus to see if there’s still power before I start bagging up animals.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  12. #7
    BPnet Senior Member jmcrook's Avatar
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    Re: Preparing for power outages

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcrook View Post
    I’m now part of team “no power”. Have bags and tubs ready, but going to check my campus to see if there’s still power before I start bagging up animals.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Too late to edit. Power came back before I could finish scraping my car windows. Still going to check campus to have a backup plan


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  14. #8
    Registered User wnateg's Avatar
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    Man, not feeding your reptiles is so hard to do when they act hungry
    Instagram - @AliceAnaconda

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  15. #9
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Preparing for power outages

    Quote Originally Posted by wnateg View Post
    Man, not feeding your reptiles is so hard to do when they act hungry
    It's not near as hard as when they all barf up their meals & you want to kick yourself.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  17. #10
    BPnet Veteran nikkubus's Avatar
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    Re: Preparing for power outages

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    It's not near as hard as when they all barf up their meals & you want to kick yourself.
    True, but they can do some serious puppy dog eyes that make you feel bad even though you know you are doing the right thing waiting!
    7.22 BP 1.4 corn 1.1 SD retic 0.1 hognose

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