Sex, Money and Paris Hilton ***

It has been a week since I posted. I’m from Cairns, so last Wednesday and Thursday we played host to Cyclone Yasi. Actually Cairns was somewhat of a bit player. The centre of the cyclone crossed the coast nearly 200km from here. The seaside towns of Cardwell and Mission Beach, and Tully, only a little inland, copped its share too. Port Hinchinbrook played a game of squash, where the squashee of choice was any boat or yacht currently anchored in said port. Here is a picture of the yacht squash.

Just as Cyclone Larry destroyed a lot of buildings in Innisfail in 2006, so it did to a number of these smaller coastal towns this time. It is little comfort that a lot of these house and businesses premises were built long before the current cuclone building standards (since the 80’s). Given that they have insurance coverage, people will re-build with stonger buildings. However there is heartache in the turmoil and less tangible things lost. There is also the despair of the uninsured. Perhaps everyone SHOULD be insured but there are always circumstances why this is not so. And those renting their homes are faced with more uncertainty as they need to find new homes in places where they are suddenly in short supply.

I have actually checked my home insurance policy. I’m covered for cyclone/storm damage but NOT flood or storm surge. Fortunately I’m not on the coast, so storm surge is out. And if the nearest creek floods me then the rest of Cairns would be in real trouble. Some of these homes that have been damaged down the coast would have been broken up by the cyclone but possibly inundated by the storm surge. I hope for them that insurance covers them for the cyclone and any storm surge is considered secondary.

Those that I feel most for are those that are losing their businesses, some for the second time in five years. For sugar cane and banana growers, the crops simply lie flat and useless on the ground with the wind of the cyclone. This year the ground was already primed with five months of continuous rain. Wind somewhat less than of category 5 cyclone could have done the same thing. The hardest part about coming back from the cyclone is the loss of substantial income. Farming requires cropping costs up front, while some months later the crop is harvested and income received. In this case there have been the initial costs, no income and more upfront costs for the next crop. I know most businesses can insure for business interruption but this would not normally extend to crops in the field. And I understand insuring the crops themselves can only be done in limited circumstances (if at all) and at exorbitent cost. The answer is to either sell up the farm or borrow more money and go deeper into debt.

The one blessing from this cyclone is there were no deaths directly from the cyclone. One unfortunate man did die from the fumes of s diesel generator in the power loss afterwards.

*** And the title of this blog post, “Sex, Money and Paris Hilton”, has absolutely nothing to do with the contents of the post. I’m just testing a blogging tip I read about constructing blog titles that people may be searching for. More searches = more traffic, the tip alleges! Waiting to see if it is true!

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One Response to “Sex, Money and Paris Hilton ***”

  1. Sue Says:

    What sort of flood insurance do you have? Apparently, a lot of places in the Lockyer Valley have been able to claim because authorities have said the flooding was a direct result of rain fall; while areas downstream have not because the flooding was caused by rising rivers. It seems “floods” aren’t just “floods”, if you’re an insurance agent!

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