Wednesday, 9 February 2011

What I learnt from Cyclone Yasi

While Yasi's winds here were equivalent to a severe Category 2 or weak Cat. 3 cyclone there are some useful things I learnt (or were reminded of) for next time:

  1. The wind follows the land - the gullies and valleys - just as fires and flash floods do

  2. Get a manual coffee grinder

  3. Solar houses don't have to wait for the power to come on

  4. Get an alternative mobile phone charger - car, solar, wind-up, whatever

  5. A surprising number of people build stupid houses in stupid places

  6. Building on or immediately behind the foreshore dune is dumb - it's a sand dune for god's sake! It has a purpose - to move, to replenish the beach! 

  7. The ONLY media that works/adds value in a crisis is local ABC radio and a battery powered receiver - it must be defended at all costs

  8. There is no such thing as too much duct tape

  9. Don't assume that because there's a cyclone, it's gonna rain - fill the bath all the way.

  10. Emergency alert text messages are great - if you have a mobile

  11. Charge the camera beforehand - taking pics on the mobile chews up battery time

  12. Tell everyone beforehand to only text you and not to ring

  13. Get more ice beforehand, fill the fridge up with it (unless you have a solar house of course)

  14. The Internet is invaluable until you lose power - but only because in enables you to track the cyclone closely. 

  15. News sites are hopeless and facebook is downright dangerous in the hands of a teenager who cant discern rumour from fact or possibility from probability.

  16. Print media is useless unless they can can get an edition out before the power comes on

  17. The BOM site is fantastic but I suspect most people don't know how to read the forecast maps

  18. Most people have no idea of the country on which they live or how it works

  19. Most people (and journalists) have no appreciation of the geography of Queensland

  20. Don't wait for the last minute to buy your beer supply and when you do don't forget to get extra for all of those chats with the neighbours after

  21. Always be nice to the Ergon and CityWater guys - they are worth their weight in beer at the very least.  They do an amazing job in appalling conditions
And finally, when everyone is locked down and until the storm passes, you are starkly reminded that ultimately in this world, you are on your own baby.

1 comment:

gray said...

Regarding point 14 - you need a laptop and possibly even a spare laptop battery. Make sure both are fully charged and then the power is not a problem.

I had great updates from friend in Cardwell - 100 metres from the beach - throughout the night of Yasi. My friend was using her laptop and Telstra Next G dongle. It seemed quite miraculous that such rich communication was possible while outside nature was smashing its fists against civilisation.