HERALD reader Sue Purvis, of Merewether, got it right when she said the storms that hit the Hunter had been "a wild ride".
Reflecting on the week that was, and the weeks of clean-up that are to come, Sue felt she had been jolted out of her "insular complacency" to contemplate just how vulnerable we humans and other animals are.
And who could argue? People and animals had died, property was destroyed and lives disrupted.
Sue and husband Ross had lost two cars and a carport - crushed by a tree at their Merewether residence.
They had gone without power for over a week and expected to be powerless for another week at least.
As a result they had had to be relocated by their insurers. They knew they were fortunate to have insurance, but the dislocation remained real.
As they regrouped they made the most of little victories. An extension cord was sorted out with a neighbour and they finally got power for the fridge and that all-important creature-comfort device, the TV.
Their precious dogs remained at home and Sue tended to them at night after working full-time during the day. Ross, who's not well, oversaw repairs as things slowly got back to normal.
It was a story replicated throughout the Hunter Valley - so many people in difficult situations. And so many responding to their plight with aid and donations. Sue was all too aware many were worse off and knew she had much to be grateful for.
She was thankful that friends, family and workmates had kept tabs on her once they knew what had happened.
Grateful her son, an arborist, had cut a path to her door after two days of internment in her house.
Gratified her insurance company had done its utmost to help despite various communication breakdowns.
Indebted to the builders who did their best to improve safety and psychological wellbeing amid chaos.
Full of admiration for the emergency services and organisations like Telstra, the SES and Ausgrid who worked tirelessly and were candid and honest about the timelines that were to come and for working in the most diabolical situations.
For Sue the message was clear: "Join and or support the SES, community help groups, animal rescue etc. I'm not going to qualify this with 'if you have time' - just make time."
In retrospect, things could have been worse and moving forward, as resilient people do, Sue felt there was a lot to learn.
You can't control the weather, but you can "Keep your friends close, speak to or communicate with them regularly.
"Insure everything that you own including your self and family life, working life and wellbeing.
"And very importantly, and now close to my heart - check your neighbours regularly, get their contact information, especially if they are elderly and, importantly, give them your information too.
"They may not be as fortunate as you, they may not have the funds to ensure their own safety and wellbeing and may need assistance when and if this situation ever arises again."
Social media came to the fore as a means of mass communication during the crisis, but many lauded so-called "old school" organisations for the credible and reliable coverage, notably ABC 1233, and the Herald for providing a sense of cohesion.
Being able to tune into the ABC for their seat of the pants emergency updates, or pick up a Herald to get an idea of the big picture as events unfolded was helpful in reassuring all that they weren't alone.
As a result, Sue is emphatic that the events have brought the community closer together.
And if ever there was a need for further proof, witness the tens of thousands who turned out at Nobbys for the Anzac Day dawn service at the end of such a traumatic couple of days.
Kudos to the council for holding their nerve to proceed with the ceremony and working round the clock to ensure the areas would be right to go.
Few could have anticipated the turnout but never has there been a stronger affirmation of the concept "Lest we forget".
In terms of remembering for the next weather event, Sue suggests we all buy a good quality petrol generator, long-life batteries, decent torches, some camping/survival gear (even if you never go camping), a barbecue (even if it's only a little one), keep the gas bottle filled and, most importantly, a battery-operated radio.
Just make a note of where you put all this stuff because it can be a little bewildering in the heat of the moment.
It's important, also, to get a good handle on the concept that anything that needs recharging is no good if it's not recharged before the power goes out.
I'm thinking computers, mobile phones, torches and, of course, the internet here.
And if I could stretch the parameters I'd give an honourable mention to roller doors.
If ever there was an open and shut case for insular complacency that would have to be it. Thank goodness a neighbour showed us the manual over-ride mechanism.
Pull hard until something breaks - it works every time.