Thursday, September 27, 2018

Our family's cyclone prep list

Cyclone Season in Fiji runs from 1 November to 30 April. That said, we had a tropical depression rain down on us this week and got me thinking about getting our supplies in order.

Every family is different, but this the list we've been using for the last few years here in Fiji.

Water
o Bottled water – 4 litres per person per day (a person should normally drink 2 litres of water per day, the additional 2 litres will be for household use - sanitation, food preparation etc) Keep in mind that security and housekeeping staff may not be able to get home. To make the math easier I just plan on one Aquasafe 15 liter bottle for the family each day
o Water purification tablets or filters or water dispensers
o Fill up bathtubs, jerry cans, buckets and other available items with tap water for use of bathrooms and showers (even if you have a pool. Pools get nasty really fast if the pumps aren't going)

Food
o A 5 day supply of non-perishable food items
o Foods should be those that do not require refrigeration
NB. As water may be limited, choose foods that require little water to prepare
o Suggested foods:
- Canned meats, soups, fruits and vegetables
- Dry goods (noodles, cereals etc)
- Canned juices
- Staples (flour, salt, sugar etc)
- High energy foods (e.g., protein bars)

Non-Food Items
o Stock of gas canisters for gas stoves, etc.
o Cooking utensils
o Paper napkins and disposable utensils can really help conserve your water if things get tight 
o Matches or lighters
o Candles, torch and spare batteries. Electricity charged torches should be fully charged
o Soap
o Garbage bags and cleaning supplies (including bleach)
o Radio (preferably wind up)
o Can opener
o Personal hygiene supplies (toilet paper, sanitary products, tissues etc)
o First aid kit
o Buckets
o Blankets or sleeping bags
o Medications and copies of medication prescriptions
o Card games, board games, and other activities

Communications Equipment

o Mobile telephone
o Spare batteries for all communications equipment, fully charged at all times (wherever possible)

A few more notes - unless you want to throw out all the food at the start of every cyclone season (I don't, but I know people who do) it helps to make the non perishable meals a part of your weekly routine during cyclone season.

For example - one day of low water/no power meals might look like this:

Breakfast
yogurt (made from an overnight mix like Hansells)
topped with granola cereal

Lunch
3 bean salad
tuna wraps

Dinner
Black bean chili with cornbread (bake additional items for the next day while the oven is on)

I'll include at least one of these meals in our weekly meal plan and just top up the ingredients on an ongoing basis. The groceries stay fresh, we stay stocked, and life goes on as usual with just a few modifications.