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The road to recovery

"If you've been in a disaster and you've lost your home, your food, your power, Red Cross is there," says Lynette Davies, who was evacuated after the recent floods in Queensland.

When ex-tropical cyclone Oswald caused widespread destruction with heavy rain and flooding in January, we were able to offer refuge to thousands of people in twenty evacuation shelters across the Queensland Coast, thanks to the regular gifts we received from people like you.

Lynette Davies stands in a shaded corner of the busy flood recovery centre, rocking her two-year-old great-grandchild to sleep. Dozens of people wait to be assisted. The hot midday sun bears down on the roof of the Ipswich Showground building, one hundred kilometres from Brisbane in south east Queensland.

"When the storm came, it wasn't so much the rain, but the devastation that the rain brought and how quickly it came down," 62-year-old Lyn recalls. "The floods have affected everybody, everyday. There's no bread, there's no fresh milk, no petrol."

The bridge connecting One Mile - the small town where she lives - to the city of Ipswich, was destroyed by the floods. "That's very scary. If the babies get sick or if you can't get to a doctor, you've got no bus service whatsoever, you're just stuck there."

Recent years have not been easy. On top of recovering from cancer, Lyn says the recent disaster has brought memories back of her house being devastated by the huge floods that swamped much of Queensland in early 2011.

"The water came in through the back door, through the kitchen, into the lounge room. You end up with concrete floors because all your carpet's gone. And you get that smell in the concrete forever," Lyn says.

"There's nothing more frightening than sitting there, watching the water rise, you don't sleep."

Despite losing a lot of her possessions two years ago, Lyn reflects that it was the little precious things that meant the most.

"I had a teapot. My son bought it for me when he was 10. And I've carried it around with me everywhere and when I went through the boxes, the teapot was broken. I cried for days."

Lyn says due to her experiences with the last big floods, she made sure she was prepared this time, which helped her whole family deal better with the disaster.

"I had my bags packed. I had children's clothes ready to go. You've got to definitely have a plan."

Fortunately, Lyn's house was mostly spared from the floodwaters. "Underneath is flooded but that will dry out. I'm really, really lucky, I'm really grateful for that."

When floods devastated her home two years ago, Lyn reflects gratefully that she was assisted by Red Cross. This time round, her family has benefited from their support.

"You can come down here and look around and there's Red Cross saying, 'Are you alright? Do you need anything? Do you need to talk? Do you need a drink of water?' How good is that? You can't ask for anything more than that."

Photo:Australian Red Cross/Dilini Perera

Thank you

Your kindness and commitment means we can be there for families like Lynette's when disaster strikes, providing emergency shelter, counselling, and other support services to help them get back on their feet and rebuild their lives.  

Thank you once again for your ongoing support.