April 2, 2017

Life After Cyclone Debbie Did Us Over

Life After Cyclone Debbie Did Us Over. Anna Johnston - https://shenannagans.com

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!

Life After Cyclone Debbie Did Us Over. Anna Johnston - https://shenannagans.com

Little Chef ensuring that I am okay…

Life After Cyclone Debbie Did Us Over. Anna Johnston - https://shenannagans.comI’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!
Life After Cyclone Debbie Did Us Over. Anna Johnston - https://shenannagans.com

Now… Onto the questions about Life After Cyclone Debbie!

Life After Cyclone Debbie Did Us Over. Anna Johnston - https://shenannagans.com

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.

Life After Cyclone Debbie Did Us Over. Anna Johnston - https://shenannagans.com

Thank goodness the Army have arrived with water.

Life After Cyclone Debbie Did Us Over. Anna Johnston - https://shenannagans.comBit 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.

Life After Cyclone Debbie Did Us Over. Anna Johnston - https://shenannagans.com

Life After Cyclone Debbie Did Us Over. Anna Johnston - https://shenannagans.comWe 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.

Life After Cyclone Debbie Did Us Over. Anna Johnston - https://shenannagans.com

My beach is littered with boats that have been washed ashore

Life After Cyclone Debbie Did Us Over. Anna Johnston - https://shenannagans.com

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.


shenANNAgans is Anna Johnston, a 30 - something Aussie gal with an unwavering passion for the Hospitality industry. I love the quirky and unusual, designing events, travelling far and wide and eating food from all around the world. I am coffee blooded, a craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi who enjoys writing about her adventures.

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Liz - April 19, 2017 Reply

Gosh, what a horrific experience. I’m so glad you’re in a generous community and that things are improving!! xoxo

Jem @ Lost in Utensils - April 17, 2017 Reply

Thinking of you and your family Anna. You will rise above this and understand it all in time to come. it must feel very surreal right now but it will only improve. Much love to you x

Tandy | Lavender and Lime - April 10, 2017 Reply

Wow Anna, I cannot imagine what you went through. It is amazing how much water we use each day. Good luck with getting things back the way they were xx

    Anna - April 13, 2017 Reply

    Yeah, it sure was one heck of an experience, not something I imagine I will be forgetting anytime soon. Thanks for the well wishes, and yes to the water, we were rather shocked at just how much we used.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella - April 8, 2017 Reply

Oh darling Anna what hell you’ve been through but I love your attitude and I knew that you’d be super resourceful and just use your wits well. Please take care of yourself and stay safe xxx

    Anna - April 13, 2017 Reply

    Thanks Lorraine, we are still coming to terms with the consequences of just what Cyclone Debbie did to our worlds, but loving how my community is bouncing back and pulling together and healing together, not sure I have ever experienced anything like it. Taking care and staying safe. xo

John/Kitchen Riffs - April 6, 2017 Reply

I’ve been through this and it’s NO FUN at all. One of the downsides of in living in Paradise. 🙁 Do take care.

    Anna - April 7, 2017 Reply

    Jeaz… I knew it was a possibility, just didnt think it would be as big and scary and awful as it has been. But, the upside to all this is that the community is bouncing back well quick and 80% of the local businesses are open too. Life is quickly returning to normal. Phewww.

Krista Bjorn - April 5, 2017 Reply

Oh darlin’, I had NO idea it was this bad for you. XOXO You are incredibly brave and strong, and your attitude is incredible. I’m so glad the Army is there and you’re getting the help you need. Cheering for you always, with much love. XO

    Anna - April 7, 2017 Reply

    Thanks Krista, I so appreciate your kind and loving thoughts, we sure feel them up here. 🙂 All our love to you and Bear. xox

Mabel Kwong - April 5, 2017 Reply

I don’t have much but I gave what I can. Never met you but you are so strong and the best big sister anyone can hope for. Sending you lots of love and hugs your way x

    Anna - April 7, 2017 Reply

    Little Sis, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank YOU! I/we are so incredibly grateful for your support, when I finally do get to meet you, that hug is gonna be awkwardly long. Ha. All the love I can muster headed down south to you. Thanks little one. I appreciate you so much. xox

My Inner Chick - April 4, 2017 Reply

–I didn’t know, Anna!!

So VERY sorry.

The photo of you above is priceless. xxx from Duluth.

    Anna - April 7, 2017 Reply

    It was a pretty massive week, but also not surprised you folk didnt hear about it over there, too. Hugs and love to you my friend from a wind swept but slowly returning to normal Whitsundays. xo

mjskitchen - April 4, 2017 Reply

5 days without water! There’s no way to put enough water up in pots and pans to cover that. So glad that you are now getting some assistance from the army. It sounds like you still have a long way to go to get back to normal. I’m sorry you had to go through this, but so glad that you are safe. Lots of hugs wrapped around you Darlin.

    Anna - April 8, 2017 Reply

    It was pretty rough not having water, possibly more concerning than no power. Day 5 we were at that stressed and worried point about how we were going to actually get more. So it was godsend when the Army arrived. 🙂 Since the power came back on, life has returned to much how it was before the cyclone happened, the community really has united, I’ve not seen or experienced anything like it, ever.

    Thanks for the hugs, they are so appreciated. xox

Tim UrbanDuniya - April 3, 2017 Reply

Holy hell… I can’t even imagine… stay strong my friend – we’re all here for you…

    Anna - April 7, 2017 Reply

    Yep, can’t say that I have ever experienced anything like it, not only the cyclone, but witnessing the unity of the community and feeling the love and support that is flowing in from all over the world for us too. I love that you are all here for me, I feel it. Love to you my friend. 🙂

Mandy - April 2, 2017 Reply

Most important hon, is you are all okay and what a story to share with the kids and grandkids one day. It is terrible what some people do in times of distress.
Hope you are all up and at em again soon.
Love and hugs to you.
🙂 Mandy xoxoxo

    Anna - April 7, 2017 Reply

    This is absolutely true Mandy, we are incredibly blessed and lucky to have so many amazing people from all over the world send love and support our way. Now we have power back, life has returned to a more normal pace, fingers crossed I am back in employ asap now too. All the love and hugs headed your way my beautiful friend. xox

Elizabeth - April 2, 2017 Reply

Lots of love
Stay safe….
Liz xx

    Anna - April 2, 2017 Reply

    Thanks so much Liz! Lots of love back at you. <3 <3 <3

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