03 Dec Essential Cyclone Tuni Preparation

We had an almost cyclone here. It’s name was Tuni. It gave us a lot of rain and flooding. The power went off a couple of times. Thankfully it never went past being a Category One and it only brushed by us rather than hitting Samoa direct. But the biggest thing it did was show me just how #firstWorld my kids are. The younger ones have never been in a cyclone. They were little when Samoa had a tsunami. Then they went and lived in NZ for three years. Now we’re here and Tuni was our first cyclone.

We got ready for the cyclone as soon as we heard about it. We made a list of essentials we needed to stock up on. Stuff like batteries, candles, lanterns and cheap $3 torches from Frankies. Cans of baked beans. Bread. A sack of rice and a box of tuna. Other important stuff.

Got home and Bella demanded loudly, “Why did you buy so much Doritos and Diet Coke mum? How is that gonna save us in a cyclone?”

Be quiet. #Fiapoto.

Little Daughter wanted to know, “Why do we need so many batteries?”

“Because the power will probably go off. Possibly for a long time.”

She was cool with that. Until she had the horrifying realization. “Wait, does that mean the wifi wont work?! How will I update my stories on Wattpad? I have readers to write for!”

Little Son who is even more fiapoto than Bella said, “We don’t need torches or batteries. Dad has a generator at his work. We can use that. So we can still play Xbox.”

Wifi? Play Xbox? Me and Darren looked at each other. Aww hell, these kids have a lot to learn… “Aint nobody gonna be playing Xbox during a cyclone!”

We sent the kids to put out bins and buckets to fill up with rainwater. Bella asked, “Why? We have a big water tank.”

Darren explained that if the cyclone is bad enough then the water supply will be disrupted. For a long time. We will need every bit of water that we can get. “But those bins are dirty,” said Little Daughter with a yuck face.

“We’ll use that water to flush the toilets,” said their Dad. “And we’ll have to kaele using buckets of water. A plastic cup.”

More horrified looks from the children. “Kaele with a bucket? And a cup? Flush the toilet with dirty water from outside? Who does that?!”

We told them all about how we did that when were kids. All the time. Because the power and the water would shut off all the time. They gave us looks of disbelief. And thinly veiled panic. “Is that what a cyclone does??” they asked.

“That and a whole lot more,” we said. “During powercuts, you play cards. You read books. You go to sleep early. We didn’t have TV when we were kids. XBox wasnt invented. We entertained ourselves without any of those gadgets! In a really bad cyclone, your main focus is on staying safe. Staying alive. If its not a bad cyclone, its about keeping dry and keeping indoors. That’s what you’ll do in the cyclone and during the aftermath.” The children did not look enthused.

Then lots of rain came. Some wind. When the power went off, we used our candles and torches so we could play cards together. A rowdy game of ka-isu. Swipi. Fish. Speed. The usual favorites. We ate a lot of Doritos. I drank a lot of Diet Coke. We laughed a lot. Then we went to sleep early.

By the second day of rain, we were tired of playing cards. I was sick of eating Doritos. The children were annoyed by the mere sound of each other’s breathing. Thankfully, the power was on. So we sent them all to play Xbox. While we watched an entire season of ‘How to Get Away With Murder’.  When the power went off again, I whispered to Darren that if it took a long time coming back on, could he please get the generator? So I could keep watching TV shows? And the children could keep playing Xbox? Because I may have grown up a #BushChild without TV and such mind-numbing gadgets, but I’m a #firstWorldWoman now and I WANT TO WATCH TV WHEN THE POWER GOES OFF, DAMMIT!

So, how was your cyclone Tuni experience?

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