Tag Archives: bushfire-warnings

Optus network and EmergencyAus – update

Just thought I’d let everyone know that I can now access EmergencyAus via my browser!

emergencyaus-on-pc

It’s in beta but the most important parts work just fine. You can find it at:

http://emergencyaus.info/map

No download required as it all runs from within the browser.

cheers,

Meeks

 

This morning’s post:

This is a bushfire danger post so if you’re not from Australia, or not interested, look away now.

Okay, my mobile phone carrier is Virgin. Virgin uses the Optusnet network. If the Optusnet network in a given area goes down, the Virgin mobile phones in that area become useless lumps of plastic and circuitry.

My mobile phone became a useless lump of plastic and circuitry this morning. Not just for a minute or two, but for over 2 hours.

What does this have to do with bushfires? EmergencyAus, that’s what.

The EmergencyAus app on my phone sends me notifications of ANY issues within a 5 km radius of my house in Nth Warrandyte. It is my early warning system. It is the one thing that has given me peace of mind since Black Saturday.

If you stayed to defend your house as I did on that horrible day, you’ll know that reliable information was next to impossible to find. I spent all day listening to ABC radio 774 [the emergency broadcaster] and haunting the CFA website. Some horrific reports did come in from people calling in to 774, but the reality was that no one knew what the hell was going on, including me.

It was the not-knowing that terrified me on Black Saturday, and it was the same sense of isolation that made me as nervous as a wet cat this morning. You see, EmergencyAus can’t work if there is no network connection. It relies on my mobile phone to warn me of danger. No phone, no warning. I do have a landline [thank goodness], but EmergencyAus is a mobile app.

According to the Virgin support person I spoke to, an Optus tower was experiencing an unexpected outage, and as it was the only tower I could link to [? how does that work anyway?] I’d just have to wait until it was repaired.

Waiting was not such a huge issue today because although there is a north wind, the temperature is still fairly low after a wintry night. But imagine if this had happened during a heatwave when temperatures reach 40 C plus? That one tower goes down and I’m…f…in trouble.

I suppose I should be grateful to get a wakeup call before we hit a code red day, but I’m not feeling much like Pollyanna today.

Not Happy, Jan 😦

Meeks

 


‘Smoke on the Water’.. and in the air.

It’s quite a lovely day today, with clear skies, very little wind and not too much heat, but I’m sitting at my desk with dry eyes and a blocked nose. Am I coming down with a cold? Nope, there’s just a lot of smoke in the air. None of that smoke is coming from nearby but it still makes me nervous.

I managed to squeeze in a couple of hours of writing first thing in the morning, so I’ve accomplished something, but now I’m facing an afternoon of boredom listening to talk-back radio on ABC 774. [774 is the official bushfire warnings channel].

Oh joy, now they’re talking about nasty biting things and antivenom. As someone who is terrified of snakes and redbacks, this is not reassuring.

Why can’t 774 just play music interspersed with bushfire warnings and news reports?

Never mind. A song just came on. Clearly the ABC and I have different tastes in music. 😦

Have I mentioned I’m really ready for summer to be over? I want to be able to listen to Two Steps From Hell and write without checking the CFA website every five minutes. I want to cook roasts and big pots of hearty soup. I want to be able to go for a walk without coming back looking like I’ve been through a car wash…

Okay, enough! I’m sinking into a deep depression here. Time for something more upbeat. I was going to save this for the weekend but I need it now! Enjoy. 🙂

Meeks waves goodbye as she bops towards the coffee pot. Thank god for caffeine.


%d bloggers like this: