Saturday, 22 January 2011

Natural Disaster Essentials

One thing I figured out - and what upset me most - was what to expect in the event of a disaster. A disaster, by nature, is an event that leads to a situation beyond what society is/can/will be prepared for and the event is a DISASTER. It's one thing to look at on the box, but it's something else to live through.

Where ever you are is civilisation. Never a truer word spoke. So sayeth Mr Barnes.

Isolation is humbling. Cash trumps charity. People who have what others need generally become cunts. Hope is the glue for any society. These are just a few things I learned.

What happened on the Monday was that a street wide deluge poured through Toowoomba taking out everything in its road. This was incredible, but by Tuesday lunch time this ENTIRE region was set back by about 130 years. No roads. No power. No water. No food. In my previous post there was a pic of me standing in the middle of the road. The water course - not creek, nor river, but water course - was a few centimetres deep and just a few feet - if that - wide. In a matter of moments it became a kilometre wide. A few feet to 1000 metres wide in a matter of minutes. This is why people died.

First thing's first. Information. You need access to what's happened. I was on my way to work on the Tuesday morning when I heard of road closures. I decided to turn around and I rang work. With the power being out we were fortunate enough to have a generator. This gave us TV and power for the fridge and freezer. One thing I realized is that we had limited fuel. I went to get some that morning. We could still get down the valley at this time. We filled a 20 litre jerry can with fuel. Queues at the servo weren't too bad but people were stock piling. By lunch that day fuel was rationed, and by mid arvo it was gone. As was cash from the ATM's, as so was food.

We have food in the pantry so that wasn't TOO much of an issue but the thing is you have NO IDEA how long you'll be away from shops etc. We were told to expect as much as two weeks.

Three things you MUST have access to at your place. Cash. A generator. And fuel. I'm going to track down a syphon set up for taking fuel from cars. Shops were STRICTLY CASH ONLY. There was NO charity from them until AFTER we knew it wasn't terminal. Shops WERE profiteering. Bread cost 10 bucks. Milk prices tripled. I found my smart phone with internet was a God send with you guys giving information. Phones went down with the power. Apparently the exchange has emergency backup for a day or so. Eventually the emergency services took control of the cell towers so we couldn't call AT ALL. Text was it.

IT's a scary thing. And much of it will sit with me uncomfortably for the rest of my life.

Oh, and run your generator for an hour every four to keep your freezer and fridges cool enough. Fridges are NOT designed to preserve cool air. Open rarely.


  1. You can also look into a smallish solar array or a windmill for backup power.

    Some good tips here for being prepared. You were pretty well off-much more than many people were down there. A country boy can survive!

  2. Most bug out bags recommend a stash of cash along with copies of all insurance and personal details.

    Amount of cash varies from place to place and numbers in your bug out. The biggest challenge I find is not dipping into the cash fund if I order take out and forget to have cash for the delivery driver.

  3. think Stick and carrot. thats..CASH and OK, maybe not.

    But the Solar array DAWG mentions is def worthwhile, I love me gen set...fkn love it.

  4. Hey Mokes glad to see you survived, I haven't been ignoring you I've been OS and out of contact. Good thought a genny for this joint is a good idea.


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