Cyclone Ready

Anyone who hasn’t spent a cyclone season in Reunion will simply not understand. For those people, imagine not knowing if the shops will be open the next day in order to get food to feed your family. Imagine not even being allowed to leave your house. Even worse, imagine sitting down on the toilet to do your business and not knowing if the toilet will flush your business away.

January to March every year is a very special time weather-wise on our lovely tropical island. Scorching heat? Check. Torrential rain? Check. 160km winds that cause over three million euros of damage? Unfortunately, check.

Quite honestly, cyclones can be a real pain in the arse for the reasons mentioned above. Only, however, if you are unprepared. Myself and my family are certified cyclone ready!

Out in the back garden, we have a water tank with 350l of tap water. We got it at the hardware shop for a modest amount of money. Indispensable during a cyclone. You might think that this is a lot of water, honestly, it really isn’t. Especially when you consider that some toilets use 10l per flush. 10l! When you couple in the fact that gastroenteritis is prevalent during this season too, you’ve got some serious water-usage on your hands.

That’s enough about that. Food! Over the past six months or so, we’ve been adding about 5% of our shopping to a special box upstairs. Now it’s got enough tinned and dried goods to last us a couple of weeks. So even if every shop in the south has to close for a few days, we needn’t worry. We might get a bit sick of tinned cassoulet after a while but hey. And, will I miss rougail saucisse? Of course.

Torches are almost just as important. During a massive power cut you’ll need to be able to see when it’s dark outside. If you have young children, they’ll be less scared of the power cut if they regard the experience like a camping trip. We found some hand-cranking re-chargeable torches for a decent price in a sports goods store.

Games are not to be underestimated too. We’ve got a huge supply of board games at home. Enough to keep us busy for a heck of a long time.

Are you prepared for cyclone season? If cyclone season is over when you’re listening to this, were you prepared enough? Or were you one of the poor people queuing for hours to buy a pack of water and a half-dozen tins just before the red alert? Let us know below.


weather-wise – météorologiquement parlant
scorching – brûlant
heat – chaleur
unfortunately – malheureusement
quite honestly – très honnêtement

pain in the arse – embêtement
back garden – arrière-cour
water tank – réservoir d’eau
hardware shop – quincaillerie
especially – notamment

tinned – en conserve
to worry – inquiéter
to get sick of – se lasser de
power cut – coupure de courant
to regard – considérer

hand-cranking – manivelle
board game – jeu de société
a heck of a long time – un sacré bout de temps
enough – assez
let us know – nous tenir au courant

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