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In case of emergency: be prepared

3-minute read

With the 2020/21 'disaster season' approaching, discover how nbn is preparing for an emergency – and how you can too.

The year 2020 will long be remembered as one of the most challenging in recent memory.

And while the COVID-19 pandemic has been at the heart of these difficult times for most Australians, for many others, it added to what was already a tragic start to the year following the devastating 2019/20 bushfires.

Last summer’s bushfire emergency served as a sobering reminder about the important role connectivity plays in helping during disaster situations, as well as the support nbn can offer communities when they are most in need.

“While, of course, we hope never to see a repeat,” says Cameron Scott, Network Emergency Manager at nbn, “we are ready for whatever the upcoming 'disaster season' has in store for us.”

How nbn is preparing for an emergency

To ensure we’re prepared for the 2020/21 'disaster season', nbn has been proactively working to protect its vital telecommunications infrastructure.

We also have a range of innovative temporary network equipment, including Network/Wireless on Wheels, Road Muster Trucks and Portable satellite communication kits, that can be deployed to support communities as they recover from an emergency event.

In anticipation of need, nbn can strategically place this equipment close to at-risk areas, which can then be brought in as soon as it is deemed safe.  

How you can prepare for an emergency

While we’re making every effort to identify and protect critical network assets, losing mains power is still the biggest single threat to the nbn™ network.

That’s because any equipment connected to services over the nbn™ network will not work during a power outage.

This can occur due to emergencies, like bushfires, as well as events including rolling power outages, lightning strikes and other weather phenomena.

While some parts of the nbn™ network do have in-built power back up, power outages may last longer than the battery life.

Cameron Scott, Network Emergency Manager at nbn

So, in an emergency or event that causes loss of power, communities need to be prepared to be without landline phone and internet services for some time.

“It’s important residents are aware that services over the nbn™ network are likely to be affected by a large-scale event or power outages,” says Cameron.

“We also recommend that you put together an emergency communications kit, which includes a charged mobile phone.”

Tips to staying connected in an emergency

An emergency communications kit can help you to stay connected in a power outage, or if there is a disruption to services over the nbn™ network.

Staying mobile

Keep a charged mobile phone and portable mobile battery pack ready to use in a power outage, or if your connection to services over the nbn™ network is disrupted in an emergency event.

Tuning in to local info

With local radio being a great source of information during an emergency, include a battery powered radio in your emergency communications kit to tune in.

Backing up information

To make sure you can access important files and images from anywhere, consider creating a digital back up.

While we hope that communities never need to enact emergency plans, use emergency communications kits, or rely on nbn’s temporary network equipment, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

“In any situation our priority is supporting the local community,” says Cameron.

“Our teams will work with emergency services and will be ready to repair and restore the network as soon as it is safe to do so.

“And, where possible, we will use our range of temporary network equipment to support recovery efforts.”  

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