The devastation caused by out of control forest fires in Alberta has created an emergency of huge proportions.
The evacuation of an entire city of close to 100 000 residents in such a short time is a rare event in war-time. Almost unprecedented in a first world country at peace.
The shock and horror of losing their homes, vehicles, personal possessions and sadly for many, their pets, in this emergency will be difficult to overcome.
Sue and I did not lose our home and all our assets to a sudden natural disaster like the people of Fort McMurray. It was a political disaster caused by corrupt and evil politicians originally put into power by liberal Western governments. Our loss came after three years of fighting the inevitable, we had some warning of what would happen. In that sense it was not an emergency.
The outcome was the same, thousands of people lost their homes, their assets, their ability to generate any income. Hundreds of farm workers lost their jobs along with their homes and many of them also lost everything they possessed. We will never know the total number of people killed.
Two people have died during the evacuation of Fort McMurray in a vehicle accident, not directly because of the fire. As tragic as those deaths are for the families, the death toll could have been much higher.
We, more than most, have some idea of what the people of Fort McMurray are feeling right now. Our hearts go out to them.
Their lives will never be the same again. One of the consequences of the emergency will be that communities will be irrevocably altered. Some residents may not return. Some houses and businesses may not be rebuilt. Many people will choose to move to a safer environment, to different cities or other provinces.
No matter how much material stuff can be replaced by insurance payout or government help (nothing in our case) life cannot be returned to exactly as it was before the emergency.
The key is to accept that, get over it and get on with building a new life, wherever that may be, with who ever is in the new community and with what ever can be salvaged or replaced.
It’s hard, very hard, but it’s possible. We have done it, we know how hard it is. Most people can do it too.
If they choose to.
Photo Wikipedia Creative Commons