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A Police SMS about Fire Risk

My wife and I have each received SMS messages from “Vic.Police” that say:

Extreme weather expected tonight (Monday) & tomorrow. High wind & fire risk. Listen to the ABC local radio for emergency update. Do not reply to this message.

Presumably the police are trying to contact everyone in Victoria. The problem seems to be related to the high wind speed that is forecast, the temperature is only predicted to be 32C (as opposed to the 38C that they were forecasting a few days ago and the temperatures of 46C or more a few weeks ago).

The last reports were that the firefighters were still working on putting out fires, and the unclear news coverage seemed to suggest that some of the fires had been burning since the 7th of February. A day of extreme fire danger that starts without any fires would be bad enough, but starting with some fires that are already out of control is destined to give a very bad result.

Below is the link to my previous post about people trying to take advantage of a tragedy to benefit their own political causes. For anyone who wants to rail against abortion, homosexuality, or the Greens party, please show some decency and do so based on relevant facts and do it at an appropriate time. I suggest that anyone who writes later this week about ways to avoid bushfires should be careful to check their claims for accuracy and scientific evidence (hint – the CSIRO and NASA have published a lot of useful background information).

http://etbe.coker.com.au/2009/02/25/tragedy-and-profit/

4 comments to A Police SMS about Fire Risk

  • etbe

    A comment (which I did not approve due to bad language and an unproductive tone) suggested that the police SMS was an invasion of privacy.

    If the police received a list of names, addresses, and phone numbers for the purpose of doing this then it might be considered an invasion of privacy. However I live well away from the fires, so the fact that I received an SMS is a strong indication that it was not clearly targeted in any way.

    It seems quite likely that the police would have outsourced the SMS sending to the phone company. My phone company on average sends me more than a dozen SMS adverts per year. To use the same resources to send a message from the police seems quite reasonable.

    There are many good grounds for criticising the government in regard to privacy issues, but AFAIK none of them relate to the fires in any way. I suggest that anyone who wants to criticise the government find some issue unrelated to the bushfires to do so – there really isn’t a shortage of other targets.

  • etbe

    The anti-social loser who commented before has done so again, and again I am not approving it for the same reasons.

    It claims to not care whether I approve it’s comments. But the fact is that if it didn’t care then it wouldn’t even come back to see whether the comment was approved.

    Anyone who reads the comments section of a blog post cares. Anyone who enters a comment cares even more.

    People who are too incompetent to run their own blog but who criticise the work of others are lame.

    In case you wonder why I use the term “it”, that seems to be the best way of addressing a creature who writes such nasty comments about the police and people who live in the bush.

    http://etbe.coker.com.au/2008/07/28/new-net-connections/
    PS It appears to be using the “Three” mobile broadband service. I wonder if it followed my advice in the above post.

  • Richard

    As for a possible response to those that are trying to take advantage of the tragic deaths and massive damage with claiming that it is an act of God as punishment for abortion, homosexuality, etc please refer to the first several verses of Luke 13 where Jesus points out some people that were killed or died in an accident and says that they were not more evil than anyone else, although again that was a common perception. I agree that making such claims at this time, or any time for that matter, is inappropriate and wrong.

    If that were true that the tragedy in Australia was a punishment from God then the economic downturn would also be the result of the United States of America being punished for being evil. While I will suggest that there was wrong doing within the American economy that caused the economic slowdown, and even recession, it is not an over all punishment from God that is resulting in job loses and investments losing value.

  • etbe

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_Siloam

    Richard: Thanks for the reference to Luke 13, the Wikipedia page seems to sum it up nicely.

    http://etbe.coker.com.au/2008/10/02/solutions-for-the-housing-crisis/

    As for the economy, the people who caused the problems are all doing quite nicely, so if it was punishment then the innocent are being punished for the sins of others. In the above blog post I suggested that the banks (who caused the problem) should wear the down-side to the housing crash while families should be protected.

    http://etbe.coker.com.au/2009/01/30/support-straight-marriage/

    Also while on this topic I have written a post about how to support straight marriage. Instead of persecuting homosexuals the governments should be (among other things) protecting the financial position of families.