We have just 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.
My goal is to collate the experiences and perspectives of our community. The Flood Diaries is a passion project to document this difficult time, to preserve the experiences, and use them to help facilitate change in our systems. It will cover the community’s perspectives and experiences in Northern NSW Floods. The focus will be on community members including those who have been rescued, the rescuers, volunteers, family members, community leaders, and business owners. The Flood Diaries Project aims to capture a minimum of 50 written personal accounts (I hope for many more) from the community to arm ourselves in the fight to Prevent, Prepare, Protect our beautiful community.
Dannielle Pickford and Sarah Moran
Publishers – 2022