Asked about a Category 5 cyclone

A few days ago, I was in a creativity bubble and not paying attention to weather news for the first time in years.

I received a call from ABC podcasters the Signal, who wanted to interview someone who knew what it was like to be in the pathway of a massive cyclone.

Here is a link to that interview. It starts at 7.35 but do listen to the whole thing.

When a Hurricane Hits (This link won’t stay up indefinitely but for now you can listen to it).

I had a take home message, about communities dealing with the aftermath, long after the media have stopped paying attention to the community.

It is so sad, that the brilliant Aftermath project, which tackled this process not only for cyclones, but for floods and bushfires, and was done by the now dismantled ABC Open is no longer on line for people to turn to.

You can find my cyclone recovery posts stored at my personal blog HERE

The photograph collage below is a map of some of the people, events and processes that helped a community find their smiles again after a cyclone has been and gone.

I will soon be sharing some of those stories perhaps on a panel for CREATIVE RESILIENCE  September 21st at COMIC CON Brisbane.

Thinking of the people in the Bahamas and other people affected by Cyclone Dorian. All the very best in your recovery processes!  May you all have a recovery journey full of kindness and good humour.  Wishing everyone stability as soon as possible.

You will be in my thoughts!

Much love

June

 

To check up on the people in the Bahamas presently visit

CNN

BBC

Blogging the North

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A House Destroyed by Cyclone Yasi but the Roses are Growing – by June Perkins

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I’ve had an article Blogging the North republished by the Queensland Writer’s Centre.

It covers the story of how I become a blogger for community for ABC Open’s aftermath.

This was the time my Smile Within Book  and exhibition began to be created.

You can still purchase the ebook online through the Australian Society of Authors.

You might like to visit posts like Tupperware Houses and A Guide to Documenting Disasters.

Other Relevant Links

The Smile Within Blogspot

Smile Within WordPress

 

5 years on from Yasi

It’s coming up to the 5th Anniversary of Cyclone Yasi.

This was our cyclone night.

 

But you know it’s not what I choose to remember. . . for me it will always be the community spirit afterwards.

I was compelled to photograph and video this recovery process – both in nature and community, and compiled it into a book, which is now also an ebook.

I spent time as a guest blogger for ABC Open, and learnt what it is to write and tell stories from the community, for the community – an experience I will never forget.
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More about   After Yasi EBOOK 

Five years on from Cyclone Yasi, and I am about to launch a kickstarter for a book of poetry Magic Fish Dreaming for children and family celebrating the very area the cyclone made a huge impact on, the Cassowary Coast.

Two of my children are in senior school, one is going into second year.

We all live in Brisbane now, and are really starting to feel like part of the Brisbane community. My husband is still a science teacher but at a different highschool.

We ask after our friends in Tully, but many are down here as students now, and many have moved away.

The one thing that will always unite us is the shared experience of the night and the recovery process and the unspoken realisation that you must always actively care for your family, before, during and after such events.

Sadly some of the families and couples we knew, and many businesses in the local area, did not stay together, but nevertheless those involved have found strength to move on with their lives and rebuild.

May they find peace and happiness, and for all those who were able to give others strength and keep your family, farms and businesses together, good on you.

Although it is true nobody died as a direct result of the cyclone, the untold story of anyone going through a natural disaster is the social and economic impact made on their lives afterwards by such events.  Australia is very blessed to have many charity and emergency services as well as funds from governments put towards this recovery process.

Such events challenge people to consider what the real priorities in their life are, and for some, like one dear friend I know currently doing a lot of work in the Philippines, they rise to another level of courage and strength to empower others.

I will always remember the Cassowary Coastal community, its peoples, and natural environment with the greatest affection and happiness.

 

 

You can purchase the ebook of After Yasi  HERE

or HERE

For the hard cover book   HARD COVER  and PDF

For the soft cover SOFT COVER

After Yasi 4 year Anniversary – nearly here

February 2nd in Australia.

It’s been  weekend of reviews and this morning a profound chat with Ali.

Tomorrow it will be 4 years since Cyclone Yasi made landfall.  Presently Tropical Cyclone Ola looks like it won’t be too much hassle.  One of our sources of information during Yasi, other than the BOM site and ABC, were Oz Cyclone Chasers.  I still check their site to see how things are brewing in the Far North.

There is just one more blog hop  for the After Yasi Virtual Book tour, and then a wrap up post and launch.

The final blog we’ll visit is of profound and compassionate musician, Melinda Irvine, who is herself now working in Aftermath recovery in the Phillipines.

Over the weekend Carol Campbell,  Gail Kavanagh and Owen Allen posted reviews of the ebook.

“The eBook is an interactive experience that links to blogs and sources that show how people coped with the cyclone and the aftermath. It’s a rich trail of material that celebrates the human spirit in all its facets – despair, pain, recovery, optimism and resilience.blghopchristine

Among the highlights for me are Christine Jenkins and the anchor she tied to her house; Mr Hardy and his chainsaw optimism; and the wonderful poem Cassowaries Can Fly.”
Gail Kavanagh

GailKavanagh

“Having an interest in contemporary dance, I particularly appreciated that one of the recovery events that June documented was a dance workshop run by local dancer Danielle Wilson. Contemporary dance is still a less well-developed community art form in Australia.” Owen Allen

Owen

This morning Ali Stegert has shared her interview focusing on yasi and its impact on children and youth,  with thought provoking questions inspired by her background as a school counsellor.

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Don’t forget that if you leave a comment on any of our blogs included in the virtual tour you will have a chance to win a free copy of the ebook or copy of the photographic print from the book.  Your chance to comment for a prize continues until the 6th of February.

Wonders and Perils of the Natural World

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Nature Takes, Nature Gives – By June Perkins

Nature – so much peace and calm to be found in her rainforests, by her oceans with sunrises and sunsets full of glory, at the top of her mountains or in planes where we can perch and see the topographies of landscape,  and at other times she is a tempest and brings storms, earthquakes, floods, cyclones and we know we must wait until she calms down.

Just as she gives us our food, and our air, she takes and destroys when her fury comes.  Yet, she is no she or he, just an entity created by something.  She does not have a will (I don’t think so anyway), and yet we do.  We have a will to decide how to deal with what nature gives and what nature takes.

Today I went searching blogs that have covered some of the perilous things that have happened with nature in the last two years.  You might find it interesting and moving to read some of them.  I will be visiting a few of these blogs over the next few days and have bookmarked them in this post to remember those people still healing long after most news crews have gone. Why not visit their blogs and drop them a line to let them that you too are thinking of them.

I asked myself today when will I feel totally free of that pesky Cyclone Yasi, and I think it will be closer when I have completely sorted the junk from two house moves (yes its still not sorted), not see any ruins  at all in our main Tully St (it is looking much better than it was!), and when most people are smiling regularly and realise all the good in their daily lives and when I write more about other things.  Our community is well on the way to recovery and yet the feelings of joy will be predominant when the physical reminders are repaired more fully and when people take a deep breath when the next big storm comes and calmly prepare without memory running after them and giving them bad dreams.  If this is what a natural disaster is like, how much worse human made disasters, wars, hunger, poverty, lack of education, prejudice, fleeing homelands and so on.

Today I was saddened by a boatload of refugees meeting with disaster and by the level of bullying in our schools.  It will be awesome to have a world where people don’t have to flee or leave their homelands, and are also welcome everywhere.  A place where kids will always feel safe and included at school. I think many of these things will be  whole blog topics in themselves one day when I have done some research and found some stories to inspire.  I don’t feel down rather  I feel determined to find the points of inspiration in our world, people, organisations who are striving to make a difference.

Bloggers, writers, observers, artists can play a role in looking at the ways in which we can fix our world and encouraging each positive moment until it grows.  Sometimes it takes a bit of heart to do this, but knowledge and the power of a story can never be underestimated.

Blogs on Disasters and Aftermath

http://belshaw.blogspot.com.au/2010/09/sunday-snippets-nz-earthquakes-tomorrow.html

http://belshaw.blogspot.com.au/2011/02/christchurch-earthquake.html

http://blogs.newzealand.usembassy.gov/ambassador/2012/02/michele-petersen-remembers-february-22nd/

http://blogs.redcross.org.uk/emergencies/2011/08/new-zealand-earthquake-worldwide-support-helps-families-recover/

http://blog.fema.gov/2012/02/year-of-reflection-one-year-anniversary.html

http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/2011/02/24/on-media-trauma-and-the-christchurch-earthquake/

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/christchurch-earthquake/4693057/The-day-the-earth-roared

http://phukettsunami.blogspot.com.au/

http://marinedebrisblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/one-year-later-japan-tsunami-aftermath-and-debris/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/08/japan-tsunami-nurse-blog-comfort-survivors

http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/28/day-by-day-a-personal-story-from-japan/

http://rotowhenua2.blogspot.com.au/2011/02/earthquake-personal-view.html

http://fourpawsandwhiskers.blogspot.com.au/search/label/earthquake

http://nathanaelnz.wordpress.com/2011/02/23/christchurch-earthquake-22-february/

http://alancox.me/2011/02/27/christchurch-earthquake-my-story/

http://markmcguire.net/2011/03/05/social-media-and-the-christchurch-quake/

http://heatherellis-photography.com/stories/personal-quake-of-christchurch/

http://mareeturner.co.nz/christchurch_blog2/

http://jkts-english.blogspot.com.au/

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Studies of Sky – by June Perkins