I’m going to take a small break from event blog posts today. I try really hard to keep my content focused and useful for you, my readers, so I do apologize if today isn’t particularly so. It’s just that something has happened in my home province of Alberta that I just feel this deep need and desire to write about: the Fort McMurray fire.
For any who haven’t heard about this, a massive fire took over the northern Alberta town of Fort McMurray, forcing the entire population (80,000 people) to evacuate. The fire still burns on and I am hearing that it could be months before it’s out.
This catastrophe has had a devastating impact on the oil industry, because Fort Mac is the town that houses many of those that work in that field. People have lost their homes, their pets, their workplaces, their communities… but there were no lives lost so far due to the fire.
The Fort McMurray fire has been a harrowing experience for all the people that live there, and hearing about it while safely in Edmonton has been absolutely heartbreaking. The pictures and videos that people have posted of the evacuation have been unbelievable – fire surrounding vehicles, ashes raining down. But even so, there is a small and slight silver lining in all of this. People have stepped up in really big, amazing ways to help the evacuees that need it.
I’ve never been more proud to be part of the Edmonton business community. From the day that news of the fire and the evacuations broke, local businesses have been doing anything and everything to make things easier for those that lost it all. From offering free meals and free gas, to discounts on clothing and free access to entertainment facilities for distractions, to free photo sessions and free places to live, everyone is doing what they can… and it’s been really inspiring to watch.
I know that Edmonton, Alberta, and even the rest of Canada will be there to help Fort McMurray rebuild, but in the meantime, these people have help. It might not all be ok, but they have support and we will get them through this.
If there are any services I can provide to anyone from Fort McMurray, feel free to contact me. Event planning may not exactly be in demand for those displaced from their homes right now, but I’d be more than happy to assist in any way possible.
If you want to help, donate money to the Red Cross. The Canadian government and the Alberta government are matching donations so you can basically triple your impact. This is the most effective way to assist those in need due to this disaster.
Image source: Featured Image – @AndyHurleys on Twitter