Tips to survive a cyclone

Forget all previous rants about the weather we’ve had so far! Australians say it’s the worst summer in over a decade and our illusion that the weather is nice always in Australia is no more. Especially now that we had to sit through a tropical cyclone…

It was quite unexpected that Marcia, moving slowly only to gain strength, turned into the devastator that she was. And we were only 60 kilometers from where she came inland! We were safe in a solid hostel (YHA Rockhampton), but were completely stuck there for 2 days. After a few hours, when you might think it’s over, you are really only halfway, because you’re in the eye. You will just about have the time to assess the damage already done, secure loose items, and off you go again for round 2.

6 tips to survive a cyclone

So, here’s what you need to do if you ever find yourself in this situation:

  1. Park the car far away from trees, road signs,… This is an obvious one. Don’t think the wind is blowing from one direction and you’ll be safe. When the eye has passed, the wind comes in from the other direction.
  2. Make sure you have enough food and water to last you a few days. The shops will be shut, and after the storm you don’t want to be in the supermarket with 1000s of other people.
  3. Make sure you have charged your phone. No phone battery lasts 2 days anymore and landlines will be cut. I was very happy with my charged solar cell, which meant I could still follow weather reports long after the tv and other phones died due to power outages.
  4. Go to the bottle shop. ;-)
  5. Watch the storm unfold from a safe place, not near a window or door; they can crash or slam when you’re not expecting it. We were sitting in the courtyard first, and when the winds turned we moved to the porch at the back of the house.
  6. Find other people to talk to. Not only because it’s fun, but it also helps to evaluate how bad the situation really is!

 

Pool storm

Making friends with other stranded people
Making friends with other stranded people

After the storm, we went for a walk. People were emerging from their houses slowly.
Storm bridge
Boat sinking

Devastating Marcia
Devastating Marcia

After the storm we left Rockhampton to drive further south, but we couldn’t go too far as we’d overtake Marcia who was by now only moving 25 kilometers an hour, but still a grade 2. imageSo we were stuck in Bundaberg, home of the fruit picking backpacker, for another day due to floods in more southern Gympie. All roads lead to Gympie…

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