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MessageMedia lends a hand during northern NSW floods

The challenge

Australia endured one of the worst natural disasters in recorded history in 2022, with a series of floods wreaking havoc from the Gold Coast to Gympie. Twenty-two lives were lost, $2.5 billion worth of property was destroyed, and tens of thousands of homes were rendered uninhabitable.

Community spirit, on the other hand, remained alive and well.

Byron Bay residents Ben Gray and Monique Hartman were first-hand witnesses of just how many people wanted to support the northern NSW flood recovery.  After calling for volunteers on Facebook to help with the clean-up around Byron Bay, they mobilised more than 800 people to clear away the problematic waste.

The problem, however, was that phone lines were down, and internet connections were faulty at best.  Ben and Monique needed an easy and reliable way to mobilise these volunteers.

 So, Ben called MessageMedia.

“I just found MessageMedia on Google, gave them a call, and they immediately said they could help, without question. MessageMedia had set up an account within two hours, with 20,000 free credits in it. It was a lot more than we got from any other corporate I contacted.”

Ben Gray

The solution

There was nothing too complicated about the 20,000 free messages Ben and Monique sent out over the course of the clean-up.

But that is the beauty of SMS communications in a crisis situation.

Northern NSW 2022 Flood Community Clean Up phone image 2

Chief Marketing Officer Tara Salmon said that while people in a natural disaster may not have a computer or internet access, they typically keep their phone at hand.

“SMS has always been a conduit for information and action during a crisis, especially when mass messages need to be sent out. We know that 90 percent of text messages are read within 90 seconds of being received, making communications vastly more effective than email or phone calls.

We’re proud to donate the essential resource to Australian communities in need – whether it be flood or fire.

Tara Salmon, Chief Marketing Officer, MessageMedia

The future

Whether it’s responding to COVID-19, floods or other natural disasters, there’s always plenty of room for SMS services to help organisations, volunteers and businesses battling a crisis. In fact, in the past two years, MessageMedia has offered a free SMS package for shuttered hospitality businesses in lockdown to support their takeaway options and eventual reopening. It has also been used by community organisations to communicate changes to services, undertake welfare checks, and connect with isolated groups.

Hopefully, we won’t be seeing any more one-in-100-year floods and pandemics any time soon. But if MessageMedia’s services are ever required, you can be sure they will be provided.