The people of Fort McMurray, Alberta have experienced a natural disaster of unimaginable proportions. Wildfire displaced tens of thousands in a city-wide evacuation, hundreds of buildings have been destroyed, and a hard-working, tight-knit community has been scattered all over Alberta.
Albertans came together to show support for each other regardless of geographic distance. We all knew that our neighbours strength was our strength and we are all part of keeping Alberta strong.
During the 2013 Floods we saw what it meant to be Calgarian. We saw kindness, resiliency and care for one another. Those qualities have been on full display during this disaster as we make Calgary a home for the 2,300 Fort McMurray evacuees.
The first responders, Red Cross and emergency management at all levels of government continue to do exceptional work, Calgarians continue to help in any way they can, no task too small.
We are here for the long haul
While it’s difficult to put a cost on the physical and emotional damage to the residents and the city, we know it will be rebuilt. Once the immediate crisis needs have been taken care of, those affected by the disaster will begin the long road toward personal and community wide recovery.
In the coming days and weeks, the recovery process for the community will become clearer, as will the needs for individuals and families as they rebuild their lives. United Way of Calgary and Area will be here to help based on our 2013 flood response.
We will work side-by-side with our partner agencies to continue to address needs like housing, food supply, trauma and mental health, rebuilding social services infrastructure and so much more.
We will also be here to support and welcome back Calgarians who had made Fort McMurray a home, whether it was temporary or permanent. Some evacuees may choose to remain in Calgary long after the fires have gone out and we will continue to support them.
The effort to rebuild will be immense, and the task of returning to normal life will be daunting. We will continue to provide leadership and support during this critical next stage of recovery.
If you wish to make a contribution to support the recovery efforts in Fort McMurray please donate here. www.unitedforfortmcmurray.ca
Some employers have indicated they will match all, or a portion, of their employee’s giving. By filling in your workplaces name and location, we can provide summary employee donation information to help your support go even further.
Anyone impacted by this disaster and in need of assistance is encouraged to call 2-1-1, a 24 hour information and referral service that connects people to thousands of community and social services in over 150 languages.
Specialists with 211 are professionally trained and adept at helping people in crisis. Representatives can provide guidance to access services and supports such as: housing, financial and social assistance, food assistance and meal programs, government program assistance, trauma and mental health supports, and much more.