All proceeds of SEO ebook sales going to bushfire charityFebruary 12th, 2009 4 Comments
The Victorian bushfires have been a terrible, terrible tragedy. More than 180 dead. Entire families lost. Towns absolutely devastated. Children gone. Parents gone. It’s heart-breaking.
I’m a parent. I can’t conceive of losing my kids or of them suffering so badly.
So I’m donating all proceeds from sales of my SEO ebook, from now until midnight on Friday February 13 to the Red Cross Appeal. I know it won’t fix things, but hopefully it’ll help a bit.
A freak bushfire
These weren’t your garden variety bushfires. By all accounts, they were a genuine freak of nature. Victims did all the right things. They had their fire-hose generators ready to pump water from water tanks. They had hoses and buckets at the ready. They’d cleared their gutters and nearby brush. But the fires simply flicked those precautions aside and greedily consumed everything. Generator fuel evaporated. Water tanks melted. Hoses and buckets melted. Nothing could be done.
Many got their families into cars and tried to outrun the flames. But on bush roads, with visibility at just a few metres because of the choking smoke, they stood little chance. At best, I figure they could do maybe 50-60km an hour? The fire front was travelling at more than twice that. It’d be like pulling onto the freeway directly into the fast lane, right in front of a semi. Terrifying.
How could this happen?
When I first heard of it, I asked, “How could this happen? Why didn’t people just leave their houses when they had a chance?” Well perhaps they could have. Had they learned early enough that they were in danger, and that the fire was so, so devastating. But Australia’s rural dwellers live with the threat of bushfires every day. Most have experienced a few close calls. Perhaps they felt they could see out another.
And let’s not forget the sheer speed and ferocity of this fire. I heard it was travelling at 120km/hr +. And that the flames towered up to 100m above the trees they were consuming. From what I’ve heard, people knew there was a general threat, but by the time they learned there was a specific threat, it was too late.
A chilling first-hand account
Here’s a couple of telling quotes from a chilling first-hand account by one lucky man. He and his family lost only their house everything they owned.
The sudden realisation of a real threat
“We had been watching the massive plume of smoke from the fire near Kilmore all afternoon; secure in the knowledge it was too far away to pose a danger.
Then suddenly there is smoke and flames across the valley, about a kilometre to the northwest, being driven towards you by the wind. Not too bad, you think.
I rush around the side of the house to start the petrol-powered fire pump to begin spraying the house, just in case.
When I get there, I suddenly see flames rushing towards the house from the west. The tongues of flame are in our front paddock, racing up the hill towards us across grass stubble I thought safe because it had been slashed.
In the seconds it takes me to register the flames, they are into a small stand of trees 50m from the house. Heat and embers drive at me like an open blast furnace. I run to shelter inside, like they tell you, until the fire front passes.”
The brutal ferocity of the fire
“They call it “ember attack”. Those words don’t do it justice.
It is a fiery hailstorm from hell driving relentlessly at you. The wind and driving embers explore, like claws of a predator, every tiny gap in the house. Embers are blowing through the cracks around the closed doors and windows.
We frantically wipe at them with wet towels. We are fighting for all we own. We still have hope.
The house begins to fill with smoke. The smoke alarms start to scream. The smoke gets thicker.”
Thank God for the Red Cross
All Australians (except, perhaps, a few heartless arsonists) feel for the 180+ deceased and the thousands of displaced and traumatised victims. Last I heard, the Australian Red Cross had raised more than $44 million to assist individuals and communities affected by the fires.
I’m donating all proceeds from sales of my SEO ebook
I’ve personally donated money already (my local butchers ran a collection for another charity), but I’d like to do more. So I’m donating all proceeds from sales of my SEO ebook, from now until midnight on Friday February 13 to the Red Cross Appeal. If you’ve ever thought about buying my ebook, or you just need a little search engine optimisation guidance, now’s the time. It’s a great book and an even better cause.
I’m only a small business, so I have no way of using technology to automatically verify that all the funds collected are passed on. But I promise they will be. And I’ll happily disclose the records from my ecommerce software to show number of sales. I’m not sure yet how I can prove what I’ve donated, but if it can be done, I’ll be willing to do it.
Please contact me if you have any questions or need any further reassurance of my honesty. You can get me on 041 33 88 991 or 02 4334 6222 (that’s +61 41 33 88 991 or +612 4334 6222 if you’re calling from overseas).
Please comment below with your thoughts. I'm not so old a dog that I can't learn a few new tricks!