We get a lot of cyclones (hurricanes) in North Queensland
and North-West Western Australia
. The big 'kicker' was Cyclone Tracy, Xmas Eve '74, that totalled Darwin.
Since then, govts implemented building codes to 'cyclone proof' homes. Walls bolted to footings, roofs strapped down to walls, more fixings per metre on roof coverings etc etc.
Our State Emergency Service
, volunteer run, State and donor funded, is usually the first responder in natural emergencies, and are seriously well trained crews. Boats, trucks, chainsaw crews, roof-tarping crews, you name it, we got it, and all local to every district - nationwide. Local people helping local people.
But if the power lines go down (as they are mostly overheads) most homes are 'dead' and people have no Plan B.
Smart folks have a gennie to at least keep power up to the fridge/freezer. Very smart folks have a rainwater tank and electric pump
(running off the gennie or battery
Really, really smart folks have solar panels
back-up as well.
Oddly enough, most folks think of the pantry when 'stocking' for emergencies, but forget the most important thing - water
One of the 'warnings' here when a storm is imminent is to fill the bath and any other large container with drining water
- just in case the pumps or pipes go out.
Look at the recent Tropical Storm Haiyan disaster in the Phillipines. Thousands homeless and calling out for water. OK, so storm surges probably ate all their supplies, but one local Cruiser reported elsewhere here that a cuppla low flying choppers dumping a pallet load of PET bottles of water onto one of the outer islands probably saved the entire community from a major cholera outbreak.
Will this happen again if there's another storm in a few years time? Probably. Becasue they are all so poor it isn't viable to stockpile supplies of anything much, and don't have fridges, so go to the market every day. No markets. No food
. People starve.
In summer, when we get most of our storms along the east coast
(November thru March) we frequently have short outages of an hour to a day. When that happens to my place, I dig out the battery-op lamps, fire up the propane
stove, fire up the genny and plug
the fridge and TV into that, crack a cold one and relax - just like I do every night. And I always fill a 20L water container prior to a big storm, as the water often goes out due to power failures affecting the pumps.
Last major storm the neighbours asked how come my power didn't go out, as they could see 'lights' on and hear the TV operating.
They were utterly helpless and had no clue what to do. I explained my 'emergency set-up' and they said "That's a good idea". Then a few months ago they moved to a new house in a flood prone riverside location. Imbeciles.
I guess growing up in the country where you need to be self-reliant, and doing a lot of camping and hiking with my dad when I was younger, gave me the preparedness factor necessary.
It isn't just 'attitude' - it's also 'education' that can make the difference between those who manage and those who can't.
Those who 'won't' I simply have no time for. Let 'em drown. We could do with a few less morons in the gene pool, especially in the shallow end where most of them seem to come from.