From the edge of an emergency

Blockers RoadBack in May, our community was threatened by bushfire. In May. That’s almost winter. At that time of year we’re meant to be worried about having enough firewood not defending our homes against bushfires.  Anyway, the fire came close enough for Andrew to be out with the CFS fighting to save the homes of people we know and for me to have to fully activate our fire plan.  Our postmaster lost his house.

I ended up writing an article about the experience which was published as a feature in InDaily.  I’m not going to delve into it all again – but if you are interested the article can be found here.  Oh. This link takes you to the front page so you have to click on the link on the front page or hit the news/views page to see the article.  Also, check out Andrew’s photo – he took this while fighting the fire.  And just so you know, the title “Nothing prepared me for the fear” was an editorial addition. I’d used the far less spectacular title “On the edge of an emergency” which clearly doesn’t have the same dramatic pull or contain an assumed exclamation mark.

The upshot of the whole thing was that far more people read the article than I’d expected.  I started receiving calls from psychologists asking me if they could use it in their fire preparedness training and from bloggers and journalists requesting permission to reprint and quote it.  But by far the strangest call I received was one from the CFS communications division asking me to participate in their “bushfire ready” advertising campaign for 2013.

So on the appointed day in November a team of lovely young creative folk descended on our house with very impressive camera and sound equipment to film the ad.  They loved the place and in particular our dog Des – who ended up with a bit of a starring role in one of the shorter pieces.  The team were from Black Sheep advertising in Adelaide and they did an amazing job of making me and the whole property look good.

Anyway – I’m going to post the two ads below but I can’t do that in all good conscience without also having a small rant about climate change and its impact on the frequency and severity of bushfires, particularly in Australia.  In fact, the Climate Council released a report today on this very issue.  I’m putting link to the page so you can download the report – here – but even if you don’t read the whole thing please just have a look at the six key points on their webpage. It’s important stuff.  And if you read it now, when I start to bang on about it when you next see me, you can show me the hand and tell me I’m preaching to the choir.

Ok- so here’s the long ad… for some reason I can only paste this in as a playlist of three ads – the one featuring us is the second one – so please have a look as they are beautifully made commercials.  And we’re selling safety and common sense.  I couldn’t ask for more.  Well, I probably could’ve asked for some money. But it’s a public service announcement so that would’ve been wrong on several levels.  And I’m a poet, so receiving money for creative work feels unnatural.

There’s another short one that I’ll add to the page when I find it because it has a very cute close up of Des looking like he’s the world’s most obedient dog.  There’s some truth to the saying that you shouldn’t believe everything you see in the media.

Ah. Here it is.




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