The bushfires in Australia have been simply unbelievable this year. They always flare up over summer, but after a few cooler summers they have come back harsher than ever. So far 108 people have died in Victoria, which is a staggering number. It is difficult to understand the fear people must feel when the fire is moving so quickly that it can overtake them while they are fleeing in a car. If you would like to make a donation there are details here.
For everyone in Australia that lives near bushland, I really recommend you get serious about data backup. Every time these events occur nearly every person affected talks about the photos and memories they have lost. This is preventable. Get yourself a photo scanner (or pay someone to scan them for you) , get a Flickr account, and start uploading! The added benefits include you can actually share these photos with family and friends, and they won’t ever fade or be damaged. I even think it should be added to the “Fire Ready” plan put out by the Rural Fire Services. The less you have to carry and think about in an emergency the better.