Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cyclone Season

We are zooming through the year and are now in full Christmas mode, well, the retailers are anyway, I am still in denial and resisting. I already have to plan, and let others know, when things are finishing up for the year and starting back next year and I haven’t decided what is for dinner tonight.

I think today must be the official start of the cyclone season as they have been discussing it on the radio and reminding people to get ready. So I guess we had better work on our list. They say (as they do every year) that we will get a few cyclones and a couple crossing the coast, hope not but it happens.

We are quite prepared and always are every year, however there is always more to be done, and really, when you are without electricity you want to be as comfortable as you can and make sure you have enough chocolate biscuits.

Seriously though, we actually have enough food and water and I am always stockpiling more and I am not one of the many, many people who every time a cyclone is coming rushes to the stupidmarket to stock up on baked beans and cartons of coke, I am serious, I have seen it, it is crazy.

Everyone knows at the beginning of every season that we could a cyclone or two and they go on and on about it on the radio and also the TV and people are still unprepared. Honestly, if you don’t have at least a few days worth of food and water (minimum) and a small camp cooker (only about $15 at just about anywhere and about $5 for about four canisters to go with the cooker) you are stupid. I don’t normally go around calling people stupid, it is actually a pretty horrible word, but you are stupid if you aren’t ready.

Here is our little camp cooker which you put a butane canister in, so cheap.

We have about four ways to cook, lots of food to cook and lots of other food that doesn’t need cooking. We have a generator, the silence that comes with no electricity is deafening, so we can have lights and fans and the water pump going. We have a couple of radios and rechargeable batteries, we have torches and lamps and tarps. We have fuel drums for the generator, ropes and tape, dog food and chook food. However there is always more you can do to prepare.

I never feel like we have completed our preps and so this year we are going to get more fuel drums, star pickets, rope and tarps. We did get tarps last year but want at least one more good one and we got a star picket puller outer thingy (very handy) but we need to replace our star picket dolly as we broke it putting up our fence.

Here is just some of the basics we have on hand. Don't forget the coffee for all you coffee addicts out there, no point in only buying a small jar, it is not like they aren't going to drink it.

Don't forget the Billy and pan, can cook nearly anything with these two things.

We don’t need any food but I will stock up on some more snack food and easy to make food like Mac N Cheese. Not actually a fan of these, and we don’t eat them under normal circumstances (except when they are about to run out of date and our number one and only son gets to eat them for afternoon tea) however they are easy to make up and you can add other things into them to make them a bit healthier. And when you are getting ready for a cyclone to hit you don’t have time or the inclination to cook a full on meal, so these are fast and easy and filling.

As you can see, the container needs fixing, camping gear around the place, boxes, bikes, kyaks, but this is our shelter during a cyclone and we want it to be comfortable.

What I also need to do is check out the container with all our gear and go through it and check that everything is where I think it is and maybe do some rearranging to improve things. Things have been moved around out there through the year and some things not put back where they should, don’t want to be doing this at the last minute.

This was the best thing that happened to me for my 40th birthday. A good friend gave me this tool box with BBQ gear in it, including dish washing liquid and a tea towel. It has everything needed in it and you just pick up the tool box knowing it is all kitted out.

So the things that I want to buy are on the list, if we don’t get them it will be OK. It all costs money and what we do have has been gotten over time, however everyone should have the basics and not have to panic at the last minute as always seems to happen. We live here, the wet season comes around every year, we all know about cyclones, and they talk about it in the media to make sure we all remember, there are no excuses. It still amazes me that people ignore the warnings.

One last thing I just thought of to have on hand is some cash. If the power goes out there are no ATMs so no money. I remember after Cyclone Yasi earlier this year and a girl on the news only had $5 and no way to get her money out of the bank and no food, all I could think was what was she thinking? We all knew that the cyclone was coming and she didn’t’ get ready even then, I didn’t feel sorry for her, I just thought she was stupid. That sounds harsh even to me, but we have to help ourselves as much as we can and use some sense.

So it is out there now, we all know what our seasons do, every year there is a wet season, cyclone season, a winter with snow storms, whatever it is wherever you are. You know it happens every year, you know there is a chance you will be without power or won’t be able to get out of the house for a few days, so get ready people.

Here is the BOM site that tells you about cyclones.

This BOM site tells you how to get prepared for the cyclone season.

This is an article from our ABC site tellig us to get ready for the season, just in case someone doesn't believe me.

And a link from the ABC article to the Queensland Government about cyclone preparation.


  1. This is an excellent post full of great advice. It's nice to see you are so prepared - it must reduce quite a bit of the stress and worry involved when you know a cyclone is approaching. Regardless, here's to a quiet and incredibly boring (cylcone-wise) season!

  2. good advice, you sound as though you are well prepared. You have water tanks don't you? what kind of pumps do you have?

  3. Artfindskate, yes, we don't worry too much as we are prepared and don't have to run around like chooks with our heads cut off. I still had a sick feeling in my stomach when Yasi was coming as it was so loud, luckily we only caught the outer edge, but at least we were prepared.

    African Aussie, we do have water tanks but have an electric pump that pumps the water in the pipes. Growing up we had tanks on stands and the water was gravity fed to the house unfortunately not here, so need electricity.