In February 2011, Darwin was hit by Cyclone Carlos. He came without warning, brought down thousands of trees, flooded homes, blacked out power and gave the city a very big fright. While only a Category One system, Carlos dumped more than a metre of rain on the city in just two days.
At Creative Territory, we watched with frustration as the water rose, the wind blew and no-one seemed to be coordinating messages out to the public.
Drawing on our own experience of communicating in a crisis, we began to participate in the information flow using our own social media and blog accounts. As the situation developed, we formed a plan to find out how people are communicating in the age of social media and share that knowledge with our community, professional colleagues and clients.
By the time the wind had dropped and the floodwaters subsided, we had developed a body of knowledge on crisis communication and a simple tool to enhance communication on short messaging services such as Twitter and texts.
This information has been shared with Government, business and the broader community to help them prepare for communicating during future major weather events in the NT.
This work has won a number of Australian and international awards including: