Cyclone Gabrielle: Kwetta (formerly Red Phase) community raises $12,000

In the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle, Kwetta (formerly Red Phase) was able to make a difference to those in need, thanks to generous donations from the Kwetta (formerly Red Phase) Community. We are delighted to announce that through our Give-a-little fundraising page, we successfully raised $12,000. We are also pleased to report that most people we've been in contact with are now on mains power, and the generators we provided are now quiet. However, it did take about a month for some to get mains power. During this time, we were able to help numerous individuals and families get their generators hooked up conveniently, including some of the lighting circuits and water pumping. These basics were especially important for people up the Esk Valley without power for a month.

We are proud to have supplied two generators to rural families without access to their homes by vehicle. One family had no access back across the Mohaka River, and their original generator failed. We supplied them with a new, reliable, and fuel-efficient generator, which was perfect given that access was by helicopter only for several weeks. Another family was unfortunately missed during initial welfare checks and was operating with no driving access, no power, and very limited communications for a week. The Kwetta (formerly Red Phase) supplied a generator, and limited fuel reserves were flown in by helicopter. We also know of another family that lost their off-grid power supply in the flood and is still without power at home, running extensively from a generator - and will be for several more months.

 In the early days of the relief efforts, we found that camping inverters were most helpful when generators were extremely rare. When hooked up to a car battery, these inverters act as a "stop-gap" generator. The car can be run periodically to top up the batteries. This was particularly useful for getting fibre internet running and then running refrigeration, which becomes highly valuable after about two days.

 We learned that communication is a top priority for 1-3 days, and refrigeration becomes important from 2-5 days. After 5 days, water pumping, sewage systems, and general sanitation become priorities.

 We are proud of our efforts to help the affected communities during the disaster, despite not having enough time to throw at disaster recovery. We divided the team, with those closest to affected areas focused on helping in the community, while some of the team jumped straight back into work to rebuild momentum. We probably lost a week of momentum in the business, but we also helped many people in the Bayview and Eskdale communities.

 We found that the most significant impact was helping sort electricity to get houses running more sustainably. Some people wanted hot water, a lighting circuit, and a freezer to protect their food supplies. In many cases, we saw that helping relieve pressure at home- freed up those people to help around the community.

Finally, we want to extend a huge thank you to the broader Kwetta (formerly Red Phase) community for your support during this difficult time. It was wonderful to have a network of support in times of emergency. We are grateful to the individuals who contributed to the Kwetta (formerly Red Phase) Give-a-little page, which provided financial backing for our relief efforts.