Sunday, January 5, 2014

Emergency Evacuation

I was rudely awoken by my apartment shaking and then the fire alarm going off. Turns out there was an explosion in our apartments. I saw people running away from the building in pajamas and when I peaked down the hall, there were people scrambling, but there was no smoke. I figured I had a few minutes time and I jumped into action.

I took the birds out of their cages and stuffed Maui into a small travel cage (airline size) and put a leg leash on Manzi. I couldn't leave Hercules and quickly tried to stuff him into a box. He wouldn't fit, so I found a material bag and put him in. He was not yet awake, so he offered no resistance. The birds, on the other hand, were terrified. Me being terrified probably didn't help. Manzi was flapping around like crazy for a few minutes, then both him and Maui turned to their death screams (the sound they make when they think death is imminent). Overall, within about 3 minutes I had everyone packed up and out the door (I only brought the animals and my phone and wallet; in the future I probably need a better emergency packet with documents).
It was -15 deg F outside and people were saying to run to the hotel next door. I couldn't chance that with my birds, so I went down to the basement to drive out. Surprisingly, their were few other people driving out so the way was clear. I went to a nearby parking lot while I thought up a plan. I could see a lot of flames coming from our building and several small explosions. Luckily, the flames were from the other side of the building.

I called a good friend who lived 10 minutes away and told her about my cargo. She said to bring them over. We put Hercules in her bathtub and the birds on her table. They didn't have a perch, just the small travel cage. I let Maui out and she and Manzi stood next to each other, scared and panicked. I was really worried that if an emergency happened, the birds might hurt each other in close quarters, but now that fear has been alleviated. It was like they told each other, "Hey, let's call a truce till things settle down." After about 20 minutes or so they calmed down and both went right to sleep. It must have been very draining for them and Manzi even tucked his head away in his wing, something he will rarely even do in front of me, let alone in front of strangers.

My friend and her children liked the birds. They cooked us some food and the birds happily ate. At one point, I was out of the room and Manzi flew to the fridge. When I came back, my friend was holding Manzi like a ball (with a hand on each side of him) and surprisingly, he was just sitting there wondering what was going on. He didn't bite or anything. When people don't know to be afraid of his beak, Manzi doesn't ever hurt them.

Luckily, the fire was put out by the evening and my unit was just fine (unfortunately that is not the case for several of the other units). So the birds and Hercules are back home and happy.

I need to pack an emergency bag for the birds. I didn't have any food or toys for them. Manzi did get pretty bored by evening time at my friend's place and began to look for trouble. I gave him my keys (not the car clicker) and that occupied him for a while, but some toys would have been nice.


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