It’s been a very tough week for southern Alberta. We were hit overnight with what has been called the worst flood in this province’s history, and the state of emergency for several communities has been extended far into next week. There are thousands of people who are still without power and are still out of their homes, and our cities and towns continue to dig out.
As citizens of Calgary, we at Emphasize Design couldn’t help to have been affected by the floods ourselves. One of us has been evacuated since June 20th, but fortunately did not suffer any damage to their home. We also went into emergency mode for our clients that needed to post information for their customers. And we watched one of our own go above and beyond in a way that makes us very proud
Our very own Joel Fournie – Emphasize’s Strategist and Captain of Lead Conversion – is also a volunteer firefighter, and has been working with his teammates in very dangerous conditions literally since even before the floods started. We want to send out a special thanks to Joel and his crew, the rest of our rescue workers who are putting themselves at great risk to keep us all safe, and the thousands of technicians using their skills and knowledge to help put everything back together.
Even though we haven’t even begun to assess the level of destruction, one thing is very clear. There is no stopping Calgarians. When this event began, the hashtag most followed on Twitter was #yycflood. Now it’s #yychelps. The question being asked isn’t, “What about me?”…it’s, “How can I help?”
How Can I Volunteer?
The YYCHelps website was set up as the flood waters came in and as Calgarians watched, horrified, as the downtown and southeast end became submerged. Those that escaped evacuation and power outages began offering their assistance in droves. YYCHelps is now the main hub for volunteers, and tons of information on how to join the legions of others from all over Alberta and Canada willing to roll up their sleeves and dig in is available.
Through YYCHelps, you can sign up to volunteer, add your business’s name to their list of skilled tradespeople and throw your own name in for requests already posted for aid. Currently the Red Cross is looking for two Forklift Operators and Commercial Drivers, plus there are several more opportunities available.
Other Ways to Volunteer
Contact the following to see if they have any rebuilding programs you can join.
- Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA)
- Samaritan’s Purse
- Check your community’s website.
The best way to get resources where they are needed quickly and effectively is a cash donation. Donate money to the Canadian Red Cross to support the victims.
The City of Calgary has provided a comprehensive Flood Awareness booklet with guidelines for how to safely re-enter your home.
If you’re returning back to your own home or are volunteering to clean up someone else’s, there are a few essential tools and supplies to bring along.
- Wheelbarrow or trolley. There are several areas where the roads and bridges are still closed, so people have to walk in for several blocks to get to their destination. A wheelbarrow or trolley will assist in bringing in supplies as well as hauling trash out.
- A ton of rags and old towels to clean up the muck.
- Bleach for areas that have been sitting in water for soe time.
- Rags, rags, rags. Old towels. There is a lot of mud and sludge to clean up.
- Brooms and Mops
- Lots of rubber gloves
- Lots of garbage bags
- Boxes for refuse removal
- Water, water and more water.
- And, of course, rubber boots are mandatory!!!!
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Photo Credit: Jeff Detmold