Cyclone Survey – The Real Story
Written by John Freer on May 25, 2023
By John Freer
Firstly, CFM wants to say thanks to the 400 people who completed our survey on Cyclone Gabrielle impact. The results have provided excellent incites, including the very important feedback on our performance as your local information source during those extreme challenges experienced across the region.
Besides ensuring that our audiences are entertained, we also accept the responsibility where radio provides accurate, timely and appropriate information, so important during a crisis.
Our region has been through a crisis, the impacts of which are still being felt and will continue to do so for quite some time. These impacts are being felt across our entire community, be it getting children to school, getting to hospital, being able to purchase items in shops, keeping a business viable or just going to visit friends or family.
Of those who completed the survey, 98.6 percent of you are from the Coromandel Peninsula and Hauraki Plains.
A massive 85 percent had access impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle and its aftermath. Power was lost to 20 percent of those surveyed for more than three days – only 12 percent indicating no power disruption.
Not being able to leave your local area, 38 percent were stuck for between three to five days, 18 percent for more than five days. There was property damage exceeding $5000 experienced by 6 percent with 13 percent under $5000. Fortunately, 56 percent reported no damage to property.
It was a time when social media came into its own as residents craved reliable and current information. Social links through the likes of council and civil defence pages were the go-to places along with local media sites – such as CFM and its local roading update page.
After these, the 400 people who completed the survey, turned to friends and neighbours for storm related information. Least used was television and national radio.
For those who selected local radio, 78 percent opted for CFM.
The survey continues to reinforce the plight and on-going challenges being felt by business. Nearly a third of businesses across the Coromandel Peninsula have seen half of their turnover evaporate since Cyclone Gabrielle.
With business directed questions, 123 business owners or managers responded – a massive 84 percent reporting a reduction in turnover, 63 percent saying this was at 20 percent or more.
Already 20 percent have reduced staff, 57 percent are considering such action. There has been four percent of businesses close as a result of the storms.
We have heard plenty about roads, just a little more to round out the survey results. Residents continue to remain concerned that the state of the region’s roads could leave them isolated.
This from 69 present of those who completed the survey. Another result, 33 percent said you found the roads unsafe, and you are less likely to travel.
Roading also has people rethinking property ownership on the Coromandel Peninsula, 28 percent of the respondents are thinking this way.