Because the forecasters still don’t know exactly how much snow we could get (anywhere from 2-5 feet!), our caregivers are actually spending the night at the sanctuary so they can check on our animal residents throughout the night and ensure everyone is safe.
In addition to checking on our animal residents, our caregivers will also be clearing snow off our bird residents’ homes every couple of hours throughout the night to make sure the snow doesn’t weigh down the netting on the outside areas and cause them to collapse.
We’ve also prepared for the possibility that we may lose electricity, and have purchased 2 portable generators ready to supply power for the heaters in our bird homes to make sure they stay warm. We’ve gathered up many flashlights and headlamps, batteries, non-perishable foods, as well as a camping stove and cooking equipment so our caregivers will be safe in the event of a power outage.
Before the storm arrives, we’ve windproofed all of our animal resident homes to make sure they will stay warm. Luvin Arms is located in a very open area, and the cold winds can be very strong, especially in a storm like this one. Because of this, we have to make sure that no wind can get into our animal resident homes. We close all the doors tightly and then use sandbags and straw to insulate and block any gaps near the doors.
We’ve also put coats on all of our animal residents who need them and extra bedding in all of our resident homes so they can make their beds and stay cozy and warm!
Our bird residents are the most vulnerable to the cold, especially frostbite. In colder weather, chickens will naturally conserve their body heat by restricting blood flow to their combs and wattles. This can make these areas especially susceptible to frostbite as a result. To prevent this, we put a protective lubricant on the combs and wattles of our rooster and hen residents, like our care manager Hannah is doing with Dante here, to keep them safe from frostbite!
Winter is definitely the most difficult and costly season at the sanctuary. Preparing for this storm and potential emergencies, including getting the generators and installing them, getting transfer switches put in, and all the extra help needed has cost us over $9,000.
We’re so grateful for our dedicated, hardworking team of caregivers who are powering through the storm to keep our residents safe. We hope all of you stay warm and safe this weekend!