Friday, February 04, 2011


When you prepare your organisation or family for some really tough conditions and you come out the other side relatively intact, then the first thing you say is "We did well, really well. Whew! Thanks team."  You never say things like , "We got off lightly." That is a rather odd reaction to Yasi. The next thing you do is check the infrastructure and people, which is what Julia Gillard and Anna Bligh are doing . You work out what was done well and you work out what can be done better and what needs to be repaired or restored. So we are still reviewing the damage and looking for those who are unaccounted for. Again our crops have been wiped out and we are going to have to think hard about how to stop that. Maybe we have to think in terms of preserves again and learn to preserve food when we have plenty of it so we can ride out these tough times when they come. It would mean people will buy more when we have the food available and hopefully buffer the losses when they come. They'd buy fresh food and then food to preserve. We have to get that type of production going on I think. It is a sad sight watching row after row of broken bananas knowing that didn't happen very long ago. It means we'll pay more but now but we can learn to look ahead and prepare ahead.

We have obviously learned about building better buildings to withstand cyclones and we need to look at our other buildings to see how we can build those better. We probably also need to look at where people live and how their houses are placed so we maybe need to do better on cyclone technology because what we have done has saved lives, that is for sure.

If we run the odd reaction of we got off lightly we run the risk of people not listening to the disaster management teams who obviously thought out the protocols and preparations for this disaster really well. They had a plan and the plan worked. The information was relayed through media and social media so to think we have overreacted  and we got off lightly is to plant a seed we do not need to be so vigilant next time. That is silly. It is foolhardy. People have done well because the prior preparation was well executed. They then had access to plenty of current information which was quickly passed around and, if Facebook is anything to go by, the adults felt secure and could then prepare their children well for what was to happen. That type of management is invaluable and essential.

The problem we have is if mobile towers go down or wi-fi is disturbed which both will be in a cyclone. So , first priority is to ensure we can have ongoing lines of communication during disasters and considering the best way of delivering reliable information gateways. During the floods the mobile technology was being used to locate isolated families and people.During the cyclone people could stay in contact with family and friends and it helped them psychologically. We have huge areas to cover. We need to ensure we can cover them at times of crisis.

So, for my part, I'd say we have done really , really well and we shall learn form this. The people of Queensland will be facing up to the repairs and restoration of their state. We all feel for them. Everyone has been talking about how hard they have been doing it and how unfair it is. We are all there. We can help.

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