Lismore has been hit with the worst flood event recorded in our area. It is raw, everyone is exhausted, the adrenaline is wearing off and we are starting to reflect on what just happened.
Whilst we long for the day we can move on and forget it is important to take time to acknowledge and preserve what the community has endured.
Researchers talk about disaster amnesia, or “flood memory”, describing how people who have experienced disasters have little advice to pass on that knowledge and it disappears. Accounts of what floods were like from those with lived experience are crucial the more our community remembers and understands past disasters, the more able we are to work toward preventing future ones, whether through their own actions or via the policymakers.
The Flood Diaries Project aims to capture as many personal accounts as possible from the community to arm ourselves in the fight to prevent, prepare, protect our beautiful community.
It covers the community’s perspectives and experiences in the Northern NSW Floods. The focus is on community members including those who have been rescued, the rescuers, volunteers, family members, community leaders, and business owners.
The goal of Flood Diaries publishers Dannielle Pickford and Sarah Moran is to collate the experiences and perspectives of our community for two main reasons: to act as a voice for the community once the media cycle has moved on, and continuing to bring awareness to the situation and use them to help facilitate change in our systems.
FLOOD DIARY EXCERPTS
"Pulling people from their roofs, even ripping tin off roofs to pull them out from the roof cavity. People, dogs, cats, chickens, yep got them all. I lost count of how many we pulled out of the water that day. " More
"My heart broke for the police officers on the phone as I knew they couldn’t do anything to help except just pass the message on. I kept pleading with them, 'Please there are children in that roof, they have to be priority'." More
"Rescuers came with people in their arms, in wet suits dripping from being in the pouring rain all day helping those escape their homes." More