Follow these steps to help your ferals safely through stormy weather
October 26, 2012
Hurricane Sandy will soon be bringing gale-force winds and torrential rains to the East Coast. The brunt of the coming "Frankenstorm", an unusual mix of a hurricane and a winter storm - is expected to hit New York and New Jersey, creating extremely hazardous conditions across the region.
Free-roaming cats are vulnerable in severe weather but there are things you can do to protect them:
- To keep shelters and feeding stations dry, raise them off the ground. Wooden shipping pallets are ideal for this purpose.
- Shelters and feeding stations located in areas that may flood should be moved to higher ground.
- Tie shelters and feeders to permanent structures (like a fence) to anchor them, or wedge tightly into a secure space.
- Be careful about placing heavy objects on top of shelters to keep them in place as these may pose a danger in high winds.
- To keep rain from driving in, position shelters so openings face a wall, or the entrances of two shelters face one another, no more than a foot apart.
- Put out a supply of extra food while the weather remains calm, in case you're not able to return for a few days.
- If your feeding stations aren't enclosed, you can place a bowl of dry food in a plastic container in a corner of the cats' shelter. This also allows the cats easy access to food during the storm. Do NOT put water in the shelter.
- Compile a list of the cats in your colony including descriptions and photos. After the storm, if any cats have been displaced, this information may help locate them.
- Use caution when returning to the colony site. Brances and other debris are dangerous and may continue to fall for several days in the aftermath of the hurricane.