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Life After Cyclone Debbie Did Us Over

Another day dawns since Cyclone Debbie unleashed herself on my beautiful tropical paradise, and for a few brief moments I’d forgotten all this shitty cyclone business had happened. I lay in bed half asleep thinking about stuff I never think about; like where can we find some water today? Is there enough money to buy food and ice and wondering who we can ask to help us move the now-starting-to-mould furniture outside? It SUCKS!

Little Chef ensuring that I am okay…

I’ve been receiving so many messages of support from you guys asking questions about how we are coping, so I’m going to dedicate this post to showing off some of our new-found survivalist skills and let you know how much your keeping in touch has meant to Momma and me.

Gotta be honest with you friends, I’ve always poo-poo’d those crazy wacky preppies warning us about the importance of being prepared for a disaster. But right now I’m finding myself googling how-to information, pretty stoked to find many crafty ideas on how to make lemonade from lemons. Yep, should have been more prepared, true that!

Now… Onto the questions about Life After Cyclone Debbie!

And to think just a week ago my home was your holiday?!

How are we managing to stay in touch online with no power?

We are incredibly blessed to have boating neighbours with generators! Even though we are all “in this” together, there is a good community spirit and everyone in our tiny townhouse complex is sharing what they have with a real open door policy, literally – their door is open all day for us to just go plug in and charge up. Oh yeah, and of course Telstra is somehow managing to keep us connected without too many issues.

How are you coping with no water?

Even though we thought we were being pretty nifty and filling up the laundry tub, and all the tubs and buckets we could find with water before the cyclone hit, it’s quite amazing just how much water gets used. We are now down to just a few litres left to “camp shower”. We were able to buy bottles of drinking water at Woolworths yesterday and today we’ve been told the Army have arrived and we can get water if we bring our own containers.

Thank goodness the Army have arrived with water.

Bit by bit help is arriving. We are able to use the pool water for little things like flushing the loo and rinsing dishes after use to keep the little germ bugs at bay, but dishes still need a proper wash with clean hot water. We are beginning to crave the need to wash our hair and clothes and even though a day or two ago using chlorinated pool water sounded gross, today it’s sounding like a pretty good idea!!

The water has now been restored for showering and washing, but we were without water for 5 days.

Has all your food gone off and what are you eating?

My most prized cooking appliance throughout this ordeal is without a doubt our BBQ and the knowledge that we have plenty of gas.

We did have about 24 hours warning before Debbie hit to stock up on Cyclone necessities, so we have done a pretty good job with food up until now, so there hasn’t been a huge amount of wastage. Times like this I’m glad I’ve been trained in the art of using food right down to the old ‘Fridge Stew’, as I’ve really got to use these skills. Last night we used up the last of the now fully defrosted freezer and feasted on a delicious Seafood Paella cooked to perfection on our outdoor BBQ oven, with a little help from our neighbours pantry for herbs and spices! From yesterday onwards we will need to buy food, so we’ll be super frugal as funds are also dangerously low now until life kick starts again.

Is it true there is looting and theft happening?

Sadly the answer to that is yes, and we’ve all been warned to keep things like our houses, cars, gas bottles, BBQ’s and generators locked up and secure. It’s an ugly reality and one I’m finding hard to come to terms with even though I’m used to city life and common sense security. It’s weird to see people drive slowly by houses with torches, or the SES patrolling the streets at night, it’s even weirder to hear police sirens.

Obviously it’s so much worse in the main street of Airlie where restaurants and shops were damaged enough for thieves to go crazy, lots of restaurants have been cleaned out. It’s sad and an awful side of human nature in times like this.

My beach is littered with boats that have been washed ashore

On a final note for now, I’m incredibly grateful that you’re all keeping in touch with so much care, love and best of all ideas and solutions to help us with our immediate dramas. I have gone ahead and set up a Go Fund Me page which I’ve called “Help Anna Recover from TC Debbie”. Now that was an exercise in fully grasping my reality, let me tell ya! If you can find it in your heart to share the page on your social networks I’d be forever grateful.

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