Photograph, Miss H.C. Felton, Postmistress, Tintaldra

During the North-East Victorian bushfires of 1952, Helen Felton, Postmistress of Tintaldra post office, worked continuously for five days and nights to ensure the flow of communication through the disaster. Helen Felton conceded to leave her post for only 45 minutes while “the fire passed within fifteen feet of the spot where she was working,” burning down the garage and neighbouring store, before returning to work.

Today, technologies such as cells on wheels, mobile exchanges on wheels, and NBN Sky Muster trucks are deployed in the wake of a disaster to ensure survivors have access to communications services. In a disaster, access to mobile coverage or landline connection to emergency services can be essential for the survival of life and property.

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A memory about using apps to navigate the 2019 bushfire season.