Friday, 22 January 2010

Cyclone Season

Posted by Bel
From Spiral Garden

In Far North Queensland we're currently on cyclone-watch. This is something which happens at least once each Summer.

After experiencing Cyclone Larry in 2006, I became more aware of the need to be prepared for a disaster. There were 13 of us cut off from civilisation in one house (our friends’ place). Compared to most we had it easy - solar power, independent water source, food in the cupboards and garden, wood stove and so on. But still, there were challenges.

Disaster-preparedness is no longer seen as a freaky survivalist behaviour. For more information on stockpiling food, see Emergency Pantry List and Food Lifeboat.

Most local councils and/or state governments have disaster preparendness manuals or guides.

Apart from food - consider power (cooking, lighting, heating etc), water, medical needs, hygiene requirements and more.

And in case you need to evacuate your home, a Go Bag packed with essentials will be of great assistance.

One thing that I didn't think about before the cyclone was having enough fuel in the car to get where we need to (without power, many fuel stations can't operate), and having cash at hand too - because the power was down for over a month in some areas here in 2006, and without power the ATMs and EFTPOS didn't work. So they are two new preparations we add to our list. These would apply to almost any type of emergency.

I also thought about what I keep in the car - a hat and pair of footwear per person, some water and cups, toilet paper and tissues, a torch and pocket knife, some rain protection, a well-stocked first-aid box and so on. These are in our car 24/7, not just in cyclone season. It means we can leave the house at a moment's notice with at least some basic protection at hand. When I had babies this list included a nappy (diaper) bag. In fact our nappy bag was only brought inside to re-stock it, then immediately returned to the car. Now we have the smallest bag with 2 pair of undies for little kids, a face washer, some wet wipes and very little else!

What possible emergencies do you face where you live? What precautions do you take?