In the field stories

Helping a community stay connected after record floods

In February 2022, Lismore in north-eastern New South Wales, Australia endured four days of torrential rain. This extreme weather event caused devastating floods that eclipsed previous records and severely impacted the town.

Southern Cross University (SCU), located in an elevated area of Lismore, volunteered to be the central hub for Lismore residents, businesses, essential services and organisations participating in recovery efforts. To operate as the hub, SCU had to stay online. The University’s primary network link went down when the floods hit, and it was almost knocked completely offline when its secondary link was impacted by rolling power outages.

Working in collaboration with AARNet, Australia’s national research and education network, and other infrastructure providers, and with diverse AARNet connectivity options available, SCU was able to maintain active network and internet connections and start setting up an evacuation centre.

Submitted by Jane Gifford

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