Victoria’s Country Fire Authority (CFA) in Australia is using RSS feeds and Twitter as a way to communicate quickly with people during the devastating bush fires this week. Australia is reeling today as the news continues to reveal the horror of razed homes, destroyed community facilities and forests, and the death of over 130 people caught in the flames.
Traditionally updates have been available on a the Victorian Bushfire Information Line, designed to provide timely information to the community during significant incidents, assist the community to prepare for wildfire risk, and provide information regarding fire restrictions, total fire bans and DSE prescribed burns.
Incident updates are now being provided to the public on an official RSS feed, which in turn is being used as the basis of an unofficial Twitter feed, http://twitter.com/cfa_updates, run by a volunteer called Dean. See Dean’s post for more information on how he’d turning the feeds into messages with 140 or fewer characters.
Supporters have been using the thread #bushfires to share stories and news and express their support and concern.
ABC radio station 774 Melbourne is supplying news updates on its own Twitter channel.