Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cyclone Season

Get Your Emergency Bag-It's Cyclone Season
I was in Apia getting my presentation ready for our All Volunteer
conference the following week when our country director came into our
resource room. He said he was happy he saw me because there was a
storm coming, and I needed to head back to my island before I got
stuck in Upolu. After he warned us we received text messages that
said, "High winds and waves Friday through Monday. Avoid travel and
ocean activity…" They waves were to swell four times higher than
normal, which would make anyone sick on the boat, if the boats were to
actually be running. Needless to say, I decided to head back to
Savai'i right away.
Next week we are having our Mid Service Conference, which the office
was amazing enough to plan it on Savai'i, but our conference might
have to be postponed due to this weather and staff members and
volunteers not being able to travel on the boat.
So as I decided to quit lounging about, my favorite rainy day
activity, I repacked my emergency evacuation bag and merged it with my
Mid Service Conference packing. I had packed in the non emergency bag
games, Phase 10, Uno, Apples to Apples, and decided that those games
would still be appropriate if I got stuck in a church for an extended
amount of time. I added to my backpack clothing, I was to be gone for
a week, and packed the bare minimal for that.
I then realized that batteries needed to be charged, and took a break
from packing my bag to get my flashlight ready and my phone charged.
As I touched my phone, a text message went off again. "Please ensure
extra preparation for cyclone that may strike within the next 24
hours. Stay alert."
Back to packing I went. I put my passport into a dry bag, and put my
Swiss Army knife into the bag. Then thankful that I still had food
leftover from my sister's visit added a few Cliff Bars. I then put my
rain coat next to the door, and made sure my wallet was accessible.
Now, my bag is ready, and so am I. We had a warning last year for
Hurricane Rene, but it only turned into torrential downpour.
Hopefully this time it will pass again. We might have our meeting
next week, we might not, no matter what we'll try to stay safe.
(My host family is also getting ready with candles and flashlights
stashed about. I know we will be okay no matter what happens.)

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