Safety Improvements

Shelter from the Storms

November 10, 2017

Turpentine Creek is making strides to improve our facility, not just for the animals in our care but also for the humans who live here and spend time on the property. We’ve begun updating our emergency procedures, planning emergency drills, making sustainability plans, scheduling training sessions, installing storm shelters around the property, and making room for storm shelters in our plans for our new Visitor Education Center.

Beyond the storm shelters planned for the Visitor Education Center, we’ve also contracted Eureka Springs Storm Shelters to instal shelters near our team housing and lodging unites. This week two storm shelters were installed down at the team housing area and plans for the installation of lodging storm shelters are in place. Small changes, like new procedures and storm shelters, are making Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge that much safer for our visitors, supporters, and team members.

Each of the storm shelters can hold between 9-12 people as well as some supplies. They are waterproof and meet FEMA and state shelter requirements. The interior of the shelters are 7′ wide, 10′ long and 6’2″ tall. Although our founding family (the Smiths) might have to duck while inside the shelters, most team members should comfortably fit in them.

Our big cats also have secured shelter from storms. Their night houses are made to withstand storms. To make sure our animals’ remain safe we install the metal poles in the ground than pour cement to secure them. Each night house has a secured roof to prevent debris from falling on the animals. They also have heavy cement night houses (made from never used septic tanks) so that they can get out of the rain. Any time a storm is predicted we secure the animals in their night houses for their own safety. That is one reason why each of our habitats has a night house. These small areas provide our animals with secure areas to weather out storms and also allow us to securely separate the animals from our team when we need to clean their habitats.

This upcoming year looks to be an amazing year filled with changes and improvements to our refuge. From sustainability efforts to website improvements, a lot of changes are in the works that will help improve our supporter and visitor experience.