Power Failure and ParakeetsPower failures are a fact of life. Anywhere that gets electrical power can - and most undoubtedly will - have power failures. Cars hit poles and knock them down. Computers go awry and mess up at power stations. Winter storms knock down trees, ice forms on power lines. You name it, it happens somewhere. The key is not to wait until the emergency strikes to start to prepare for it!
First, power failures often knock out water. Water is one of those most necessary things in life, far more important than food. So always have a gallon or two of bottled water in the basement. Change it out every year or two so that the water is always fairly fresh. If it's a situation where you expect power might fail - like a winter storm is bearing down on you - then fill up your sinks and bathtub with water. That way you have emergency water to keep you going for a few days.
Next, food. You should always have at least a week of food in the house, for you and for your pets. That way if the roads become impassable for some reason you don't have to worry about going out to get more. Don't let your food run down to the dregs before you go to get more. Always keep a set of seed or pellets or whatever your main food item is.
Make sure you have battery powered lamps - as well as a few shake-to-activate ones. You definitely do NOT want to have flame based lights going in an emergency system. Yes, it might seem romantic - but take a look at the statistics of how many houses burn down due to candles and other flame based lighting. If you already have an emergency going on, the last thing you want is to add a burning house to that mix. Also, if you read the article below on candles and parakeets you'll find that they simply aren't good to have near parakeets.
Make sure your battery powered lamps are somewhere easy to get to. The best way is usually to have a few of the hand-wind ones in key locations - by the bed, in a main desk, in the kitchen. That way one is very close and is guaranteed to make light. That will let you get to wherever you have the other ones stored.
It hopefully goes without saying that you really should not be letting your parakeet out at all during this period. There are all sorts of things that could happen. You might need to leave your house and relocated. You might really need to move to another room. Your keets will be fine being in their cage for a few days.
In the summer, the issue is that things can get too hot. Find the breeziest part of the house, and set the cage up there - but use light sheets so that the breeze isn't blowing ON the keets. Use hand fans if necessary to add some breeze. Make sure you have LOTS of water available to hydrate. Use curtains to block the sun from coming into the house.
Winter usually poses the more challenging issue. Human beings can layer on more clothes, and can snuggle together for warmth. Keets do have a warm layer of feathers, but that only gets them so far.
It's tempting to use gas powered type of heater - but the fumes they put out are not good for little lungs. Instead, get everyone to sleep in one room. The body warmth is a huge part of keeping a room warm. Do the normal wintry types of house-sealing activities. Cover the windows with plastic, then with a layer or two of thick fabric. Seal all drafts with towels. If you have a fireplace, and you must use it, keep the keets at the far end so they get as little soot as possible in their lungs. Cover their cage with a heavy fabric to keep out all drafts and so they can conserve their own heat. Have a little "snuggly tube" of fabric in the cage for them to snuggle in. Even if your keet doesn't normally use one, have one in a drawer to use for this emergency. If it gets really cold, then occasionally take the keet out of the cage - I know I said not to but this is an emergency - and hold the keet against you to restore their body warmth. Then once they're "recharged" they can fluff up in their cage and go for a while longer.
Get pizza stones, ceramic bricks or any other stones and heat them up with whatever options you have, and put them beneath the cage. The heat will rise through the cage to help out. Don't ever put anything hot into the cage, though.
Heat their water to a *lukewarm* (never hot!) temperature so that the water helps to warm them from inside. Just like humans drink tea and hot cocoa, parakeets can drink warm water to help.
Make sure you always have a well stocked medical kit, so that no matter what happens, you are ready for emergencies.
Winter Heating and Parakeets
Candles and Parakeets
Parakeet Household Safety Checklist
Parakeet Safety Medical Kit
Cat / Parakeet Info Homepage