I read much of your blog site and started to get prepared two years ago when the financial crisis first hit. Now, while staying dry enough, I am surrounded by flooded towns and washed out roads and bridges. So much of what you have written is of value here right now. I thought you would appreciate an on-the spot report. Now my friends are scrambling and I don’t look like such a fool.
We in Jandowae have potable water but our nearest neighbouring town, Dalby was trucking in a million litres a day. Even locally I have seen some gastrointestinal infections and am grateful for good water filtration equipment. We have needed our battery operated radio as there have been frequent blackouts, the bug out bags are ready in case we get more rain upstream and evacuation is needed, and it is a comfort to have sufficient food for a year and a good supply of heirloom seeds to plant as soon as the water goes down as they expect food prices to double in the coming months as more than half of the state has been underwater with massive stock and crop losses. I even bought a spare house to have more land to cultivate and storage room, and I think we are going to be glad of that. (I live in the shop.)
Everything that seemed common sense and intuitively correct is coming true – we are all so interconnected and interdependent that without a functioning road network, no one can get anything in or out. Livestock cannot get to the slaughterhouse or meat or milk to market or processed and packaged goods back to the country. Many large towns are out of fuel, and no one anywhere can get bread or milk. No one. The bakeries are out of flour so can’t even bake any. There has been panic buying and shop shelves are stripped bare, but you can still get the odd treat like chocolate at our local store. There are only a few of us in my town who can go to work as most men I know are truck or transport drivers, farmers with paddocks and sheds under water or coal mine workers. (The mines have shut down as both rail and roads are washed out and there is no way to get the finished product to the ports or export. They are losing $100 million every day in exports, and Australia supplies half of the world’s supply of coking coal). When the holiday pay runs out, many will be unable to meet their mortgage payments and with food costs about to go through the roof, there will be widespread hardship.
I have enough issues with my store and looking after the unprepared that I am so glad all our personal needs are well looked after.
I also look at the big picture, the months of recovery ahead, the isolation which will continue for a very long time and the huge inflation we will be dealing with and it has all happened just as you predicted. It is still unfolding tonight as the capital city, Brisbane, loses 3,500 businesses, 20,000 homes and many kilometers of roads and bridges. You probably saw what happened to people in the Lockyer Valley when a wall of water went through the main street of Toowoomba, (where we do most of our shopping), and then down the mountainside, washing away houses. Many were stuck on their roofs and no one could rescue them because it was too large a scale of disaster and torrential rain continued all the next day, which hampered rescue efforts. We are pretty good at handling disasters here in Australia, but at the moment, the resources are stretched very thin. When things get this bad, we have to be able to take care of ourselves and each other.
Thanks once again – the amount of stress that I don’t have on account of listening to you and acting on your advice is fantastic. – Karen in Queensland