9pm on a Friday after a full on week. This week saw the South East facing extremes with the community in desperate need for communication. The key message was to rely on Fires Near Me and Live Traffic.
But the fires moved too fast and the Apps weren't specific enough or timely enough so the community turned to whatever sources they could to best inform themselves.
About Regional provided exceptional coverage as did ACM with their northern reporters on the ground.
The hero of the day was social media though. Facebook, with all its Noticeboards and groups. And then there were the contributors like Croakers Towing Batemans Bay who gave updates from the road, photographers like Josh Burkinshaw Images who captured the intensity and outcomes.
Our local brigades did an exceptional job of feeding their pages with images and video, taking the community right into the path of the fires. In awe of their heroism.
This event has been played out in social media in real time and each and all had their role to play. Today we saw community meetings live streamed via social media for those who could not attend.
And we saw a first with Southern Phone arriving at the evacuation centre to install computers, phones and wifi for anyone who needed to keep in touch.
There will be lessons to learn of how the communications might improve 'next time' but in all, as a community we came together and learnt that social media has a place, and while it might dilute the message with continued uploads of Old information most of the community learnt to quickly filter out the latest and to find their trusted sources.
Here's hoping for a quiet weekend
Below are some stats of the engagements of just some of our local social media feeds this past week for your interest.
Below are the comparative figures for the Braidwood Bugle, an independent newsource driven by Alex Rea - terrific results in the last week with the Bugle coverage of the Braidwood fires. Great to see trusted independent news leading the way.