When searching for “weather in Fiji” one is often told that it is a raining. Given the high humidity there is a good chance of rain in any 24hr period. The Nadi side of the main island, Viti Levu is commonly known as the dry side of the island, while Suva hosts the rain.
As Christmas draws closer, the weather warms up and people need to start making sure they are cyclone-ready. As a long term expat I find myself double checking I have my favourite weather sites available. Below is a list of commonly used urls. The Fiji Met have predicted a below average chance of a cyclone in the 2017/18 season with moderate confidence! Having said that, it is always better to be prepared. NaDraki Weather have a website and a facebook page, and they are very up to date.
Preparing for a cyclone
Things to have stored at the beginning of the cyclone season (November-April)
- Drinking water. If you have a water dispenser such as AquaSafe then make sure you have at least 1 spare at all times. We keep a spare in the laundry away from regular use. Even if you don’t have a dispenser, having a spare 15 litre bottle of drinking water will get you through if there are water cuts for a day and the shops are closed.
- Batteries. Electricity is often cut after a weather event. Being able to power torches and radios will keep you in touch with whatever is going on.
- Ability to listen to the radio. Old fashioned people (like me) would think you need a battery operated radio, but you can listen to a broadcast through other technologies. During weather events the radio stations in Fiji broadcast updates and advisories on a regular basis.
- Candles. Even though torches and lanterns etc are excellent, having a back up of a box of candles ensures you will have light.
- Matches. Not only for candles, but lighting the stove and/or BBQ.
- Gas bottles – for the BBQ & for the house (if you have a gas stove). Having at least one full spare gas bottle will ensure you can cook for days.
- Food. There is always lots of food that needs to be eaten if the fridge has lost power. Having some staples like pasta or tinned vegetables on hand means you can rustle up a meal fairly easily.
- Plugs. Don’t you hate it when you can’t find a plug? Add ‘plugs’ to your shopping list at the beginning of the cyclone season.
- Buckets. Using a bucket of water to flush the toilet or having a bucket to wash hands etc is very useful.
- Trim any trees/branches that may pose a threat during a cyclone.
What you can do when a cyclone has been predicted
- Fill the bath (can you find the plug?). Being able to flush the toilet using a bucket of water if the water has been cut off. If you have a pool then it is easy to fill the bucket, but if the weather is bad and you can’t go outside then you will be pleased to have a bath full of water.
- Turn off electrical appliances at the powerpoint. Electricity surges are common during weather events and can fry you appliances.
- Put up the cyclone shutters. Often the company you work for will do this for you, but if you are on your own (like us) then getting the cyclone shutters up early will ensure you are safe. Be mindful it will make inside the house dark and hot. If you don’t have cyclone shutters then put packing tape X across your windows. This will hold broken glass in place.
- Give the pets outside time early on. If you are all going to be in the house for a while then having the pets already toileted and exercised may keep you all sane.
- Boil some water. At least the kettle, but preferably a large saucepan of water. Even if the water comes back on quickly it is advised to boil all drinking water after a weather event (the radio will remind you of this!)
- Discuss what is happening with your family (the kids as well as others overseas). If you are new to a cyclone region then everyone will be worried. Letting the kids know that you are preparing and involving them in the preparations will make them feel safer and in control. Letting your parents/friends/family members overseas know that you are prepared is a good idea. Warn them that you may lose electricity and may be out of touch for a while.
- Clear any outdoor furniture. You can bring it inside or do as my neighbours did and throw it in the pool – it will be safe there!
When there is a weather event happening
- Keep up to date via radio broadcasts or TV. Sometime flooding can restrict movements around Fiji so road closures will be broadcast.
- Have the family together in the strongest part of the house, keep an emergency kit nearby.
- Wait for the all clear and be careful when going outside.
|Fiji Meteorological Service||http://www.met.gov.fj/||Updates from the Government of Fiji|
|Tropical Storm Risk||http://www.tropicalstormrisk.com/||I find this one the best|
|Time & Date Nadi||https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/fiji/nadi/ext||14 Day extended forecast|
|Time & Date Suva||https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/fiji/suva||Suva forecast|
I hope you found this post useful. If you have any questions please contact me and I’d be happy to help.