Calgary, We Will Pull Through these Floods

Beautiful Calgary has been consumed by flooding waters.

( The floods here in Calgary have been nothing short of devastating.  Between 75,000-100,000 Calgarians have been evacuated from their homes because of the floods that caught everyone by surprise this past Friday.  While some people have been able to return to their homes with minor amounts of water damage, many people's homes have been consumed by water.  Their homes, their treasures, all gone.  There are many before and after pictures of the devastation, shown here

A State of Emergency was declared.  In anticipation of this, I went to stock up on groceries Saturday morning.  When I arrived at 9:45am, there was literally no place to park.  There were no carts available.  There was no bottled water left.  The line up to purchase groceries was wrapped all around the store, back to the meat counter. A true state of emergency was in effect.  

I have seen many people write about being able to replace things and not people, which is so true.  But, family pictures and other items that remind us of special times with family and friends, are not replaceable. There are so many other aspects of the devastation for people - the question of whether the flood damage will be covered by insurance.  People's financial savings are at stake.  Reports have said that some people have still not recovered from the floods of 2005.  

The costs of this flood to the city of Calgary are going to be in the billions.  The Scotia Bank Saddledome's main level remains under water.  The last count I heard was that the water was up to the 10th level.  In less than two weeks, the Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth, the Calgary Stampede, is set to kick off.  I cannot see how the show will go on - but reports thus far, are saying that the show will go on, "come hell or high water".  

Calgary clearly had an excellent disaster plan, modeled after the Winnipeg floods.  The emergency response in this city have been nothing short of incredible.  Mayor Nenshi and Premier Redford, and their teams, have held multiple teleconferences keeping this city's citizens up to date.  The Military, the Canadian Red Cross, the "first responders" (and many many others) have been inspiring and true to the heart of the human spirit.  

If you haven't been impacted by the floods, you might want to think about your disaster planning and making sure your family is ready for any emergency.  You and your family should be ready to take care of yourself and your family for at least 72 hours, should an emergency happen.  

Here is an excellent guide, Get Prepared, put together by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, Canadian Red Cross, St John Ambulance, and the Salvation Army.  Among the many parts to the emergency plan is to have at least 2 litres of water per person per day, non-perishable foods like canned foods, bars, dried foods, a manual can-opener.

There is a huge mountain to climb as we all put this city back together, and help all those impacted by the floods.  But, I have every confidence that this incredible city of Calgary will pull through, come hell or high water.

Written by Calgary Dietitian Kristyn Hall MSc, RD, Dietitian and Director, HealthCastle Calgary.


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