The Australian Red Cross Blood Service needs YOU

Cancer patient Tameeka Ieremia owes her life to zombies.

The post-apocalyptic creatures usually take lives rather than save them, but a zombie army that has risen up in Adelaide is helping ensure the city has a stable blood supply.

The Adelaide Zombie Walk group is part of Red 25 – a team of community groups, schools and workplaces across the nation who donate blood to help achieve 25 per cent of Australia’s annual blood collection, or 1.3 million donations each year, to meet patient demand.

The zombies – who will stage their annual charity walk on October 15 – are a group of regular donors who have so far donated 42 times this year, benefiting patients like Ms Ieremia, 22, of Elizabeth Grove.

She has needed almost eight litres of blood via 45 blood and platelet transfusions since she was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukaemia in March this year.

Leukemia patient Tameeka Ieremia with blood donating zombies, from left, Stacey Atkinson, Adam Bates, Aaron Broomhall, David Sandison, Sabrina Cavallaro and Chris Antonello. Picture: Mike Burton

Leukemia patient Tameeka Ieremia with blood donating zombies, from left, Stacey Atkinson, Adam Bates, Aaron Broomhall, David Sandison, Sabrina Cavallaro and Chris Antonello. Picture: Mike Burton

Ms Ieremia is urging people to donate much needed blood this long weekend as the Australian Red Cross Blood Service is on the hunt for more than 150 blood donations over the break.

“I didn’t realise how important it (blood donation) was until I actually started receiving it,” she said.

“It’s something people should really consider doing – you actually are genuinely saving people’s lives.”

Blood Service spokeswoman Rebecca DiGirolamo said donating blood helped a range of people.

“Over long weekends, it’s vital that we maintain blood supplies, especially platelets – a blood component needed by cancer patients like Tameeka undergoing chemotherapy,” she said.

“Platelets have a five-day shelf life which means the Blood Service needs a constant flow of blood donors, without interruption.”

Read more.

New Victorian disaster app in time for summer

Shark sightings, floods, fires, earthquakes, tsunamis, and water safety warnings will be sent to users of a new Victorian emergency app to be released in time for summer.

VicEmergency will replace the FireReady app beginning in November, which will link to the website and provide timely information to users across the state.

The FireReady app is currently the official Victorian Government app for access to timely, relevant and tailored warnings and information in Victoria.

“The app will provide the community with warnings and incident notifications that are tailored to individual locations and watch zones,” Emergency Commissioner Craig Lapsley said in a statement.

The FireReady app, released six years ago, helped with the evacuation of residents during the Wye River Christmas Day fire that destroyed at least 116 houses.

For information on either VicEmergency or the FireReady app please click the links.

News.com.au

Emergency services preparing for potential flood disaster

This is the eye-opening map which shows almost an entire state flooded — and the situation will only get worse with more heavy rain on the way.

The map shows the areas most affected by floods in Victoria, taking up much of the state. Picture: Courtesy SES Victoria Source:Twitter

The map shows the areas most affected by floods in Victoria, taking up much of the state. Picture: Courtesy SES Victoria Source:Twitter

Victoria is bracing for further chaos after heavy rain battered the state, with forecasters predicting another widespread drenching next week for eastern Australia.

SES Victoria spokesman Stefan Delatovic said even a small amount of rain could spell disaster for already soaked areas, with some experiencing their biggest rainfalls in a century.

Mr Delatovic said with more than 280 road closures, 26 flood warnings across the state — three of which are major — it was vital people took extra care. The flood chaos could not have come at a worse time for the state with the approach of school holidays. Mr Delatovic said the worst affected areas were western and central areas of the state.

He said there had been 17 rescues over the past week and stressed the importance of people avoiding flood areas at all costs. “We can’t underestimate how dangerous even a small about of water is,” he said. “Just 15cm is enough to carry a car away, so even if you know the road well, don’t cross.” Mr Delatovic also urged those going away to check Victoria Roads as well as the SES for ongoing updates.

The Avoca River is expected to peak just short of the 7.9m peak at the town during the September 2010 flood. By 6pm last night the river had reached 7.13m and was still rising. Ten homes remained at risk of flooding, Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said.

While rain has eased, Mr Lapsley yesterday warned barely a patch of Victoria was untouched by the drenching the state has received over the past few days.

River, creek and water catchments are swollen to capacity and with more rain forecast next week, emergency services are preparing for potential disaster.

“This is not going away,” he said. “We are calling this the floods of September 2016. We are expecting it to be a significant event.

“The state is saturated, we’re now seeing most of our rivers in some sort of flood.”

Mr Lapsley said with water at current levels, there were concerns with what impact more rain would have.

“Next week’s weather is concerning. If we get 20mm when we have reservoirs full, dams full and rivers full, that’s a concern,” he said.

“That’s our next problem to face. We are trying to get a good understanding of the weather and the change in the weather pattern that has potential to bring rain with it.”

South Australia and Victoria have borne the brunt of torrential rainfalls over the past few days.

Eighty homes have been flooded and 39 roads remain closed after torrential rain and gale force winds battered the Adelaide Hills, causing millions of dollars in damage.

But Weatherzone meteorologist Ben Domensino told news.com.au more rain was certainly on the way.

He said the next systems were a cause for concern.

“A cold front moving across The Bight will hit western Victoria on Saturday,” he said.

While modelling predicts up to 10mm-20mm of rain, Mr Domensino said this would be enough to cause widespread flooding.

“A prediction of 20mm of rain doesn’t sound like much, but the concern is these two systems will add to the waterlogged conditions,” he said.

River levels across the Mt Lofty Ranges had peaked, reducing any immediate risk of further flooding, but could be swelled by falls forecast for Saturday and next week. Some centres in the Adelaide Hills, on the Fleurieu Peninsula and on Kangaroo Island had their wettest September day on record on Wednesday, copping more than 100mm. That led to flooding across a wide area with the towns of Aldgate, Bridgewater and Hahndorf and Adelaide’s eastern suburbs the hardest hit.

Read more.

Storms and bushfires expected as heat rises.

The SKY NEWS Weather Severe Weather Outlook 2016/2017 has just been released and Chief Meteorologist Tom Saunders is forecasting another hotter than average severe weather season with an increased risk of severe thunderstorms, rain and cyclones.

Severe weather season, which runs from October to April, is the period in which Australia faces its most extreme weather conditions. The key climate drivers behind this season’s forecast are warmer than normal ocean temperatures off our northern and eastern coastline, a negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and the background influence of global warming.

The upcoming thunderstorm season is likely to be extremely active over eastern and northern Australia and fortunately for farmers who have suffered through four years of dry conditions, there is an increased chance of further drought breaking rainfall. The warmer than average seas off the north and east coasts should increase moisture levels and increase the number of days with suitable conditions for thunderstorm development. Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne should all see more days than normal with severe thunderstorms, characterised by hail larger than a $2 coin, wind gusts exceeding 90 km/h, flash flooding or tornadoes.

After the least active cyclone season on record last year, the nation could also face its busiest cyclone season in six years and wettest northern wet season in years. Tropical cyclone numbers are expected to see a significant boost this season thanks to warmer than normal ocean temperatures and the possibility of a weak La Nina developing.

Australia has sweltered through record warm temperatures over the past four and a half years, including our warmest year on record in 2013, third warmest in 2014 and fifth warmest in 2015. One of the distinguishing features of the upcoming season will again be heat with temperatures likely to remain above average across most of the country, leading to an increased risk of bushfires and heatwaves. This season will once again be hot, with maximum temperatures from October to April likely to be above average across most parts of the country.

Every Australian capital has recorded at least four consecutive years with above average maximum temperatures during the severe weather season. Sydney has now recorded 16 consecutive severe weather seasons with temperatures above average, Melbourne and Hobart fourteen consecutive years and Perth ten. There is a high probability that once again all capitals will be warmer than normal apart from Perth which is currently being cooled by cool sea temperatures off the west coast.

Considering grassland growth will be considerable following a wet winter, the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre are predicting above average fire potential through inland southeast Australia and along much of the WA coastline. The warm temperatures will also increase the risk of heatwaves, although heatwaves are extremely rare along Australia’s east coast with Brisbane, Sydney and Hobart averaging less than one every ten years.

Read more.

Don’t wait until it’s too late – get ready now

You’ll see them all the time; people who have left it too late to get ready and are relying on the SES for help. By preparing better before disaster hits, we can help take the strain off the SES and let them focus on those who need help the most.

Ensure any preparedness activities conducted in or around your property boundary adhere to the local council bi-laws. To find your local council click here.

If you are holidaying or travelling to an unfamiliar location, remember to check the local council website for information on the local emergency and evacuation plan. Find the local council of your destination here.

For help with preparing an Emergency Kit and Evacuation Plan right now, download fact sheets below:

Source: RACQ Get Ready Queensland

Know your bushfire warnings before you need to act

With the Northern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook predicting above normal fire potential for eastern parts of Central Queensland, firefighters are urging residents to familiarise themselves with bushfire warnings before this season starts.

Rural Fire Service (RFS) Area Director Craig Magick said people living in bushfire prone areas should be familiarising themselves with bushfire warning messages, which could be issued during an incident.

“Bushfire warnings provide vital information to residents including threat to properties, time to impact, the strength and direction of the fire and the steps people need to take in order to survive,” Mr Magick said.

“Warnings issued by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) are sent through media and social media channels during significant incidents and broadcast on local radio.

Mr Magick said there were three different levels of bushfire warning which could be issued by QFES when a bushfire escalated. They are:

Advice – you should monitor conditions and review your Bushfire Survival Plan.

Watch and Act – conditions are changing and you should start taking action and follow your Bushfire Survival Plan.

Emergency Warning – you are in danger and you should immediately act on your Bushfire Survival Plan.

“If a bushfire warning is issued, tune into local radio or access the RFS website current incidents page for information, it will be updated with the latest information,” he said.

“Firefighters, volunteers or police may also be doorknocking in the area, or an Emergency Alert message may be issued to telephones with information and advice on what is occurring, and how to seek further information.

“If at any time a resident feels their property or life is threatened by a bushfire, they should call Triple Zero (000) immediately.”

Read more.

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