This post is meant to update you and let you know we are all fine, but most of all to THANK YOU for making that possible.
We are now on the back end of the most ferocious winter storm that has ever hit the entirety of Texas in its known history. Wind chills ranged from 20 to 35 below zero. They say this was the winter storm version the likes of a category 5 hurricane. The temperatures reached sub-zero, the winds blew at 60mph and brought many inches of snow and ice and devastating cold which our state could not handle. The artic blast froze natural gas supplies, stopped wind turbines from spinning and caused main city pipes to burst, 14 in our small town alone.
Millions of Texas residents and businesses were without electricity for days on end, many without water as well. Food supplies dwindled because semi-trucks could not travel the icy roads to restock grocery stores. Animals forced to stay outside with no protection froze to death. Bat World Sanctuary, however, did not lose one animal.
All of our staff lives on site, on Bat World Sanctuary’s land, for reasons just like this. We are ready and able to handle nearly any disaster that may arise. The artic blast was predicted to last 4 to 5 days, but we had freezing temperatures before the artic freeze ever hit us. In accordance with our emergency plan, we had to allow for the fact the food trucks may not be able to get through on icy roads. Two days before the devastating temperature drop, we went to local stores and purchased enough food for all of the sanctuary animals for more than a week, including extra enrichment items like green peppers and mangoes for the fruit bats. We made sure our generator was running smoothly and well supplied with enough fuel for a week. We closed access to the semi-outdoor flight area for the fruit bats because, even though a large heater keeps the bay temperature a safe 65 to 75 degrees during the winter months, we expected it would not hold and fruit bats cannot withstand cold temperatures. With the semi-outdoor flight enclosure closed, we moved our rescued goats inside so they could be under the same warm roof with our rescued dogs. We also provided extra heat panels for the goats so the temperature never dropped below 55 in our bay. Lastly, we moved our heated water bucket (normally used for the goats) to our wildlife area so the birds and other wild animals would have access to water. Then, four days into the freeze, our 30 gallons of water stored for emergency needs came in handy when our city water pipes, as well as our own back-up water supply, froze.
(Video footage below is from our live-stream bat cams.)
We have heard numerous reports of animals freezing to death and suffering from frostbite throughout Texas. We believe, as a sanctuary with animals whose lives depend on us, we should prepare for any disaster, even disasters that seem implausible. It is not lost on us that you contribute to our ability to do just that. Your donations bought our generator, the fuel for the generator, the water, the food and all the other supplies we needed to get us through this emergency.
We were prepared, and not one animal was compromised. One of the greatest things we as humans strive to accomplish is to make a difference in life. Please know, Dear Bat World Sanctuary supporters, that you have made a significant difference to the hundreds of bats we house and the thousands we save each year. You are our hero’s, and we realize that now more than ever.
The Bat World Sanctuary Team