Friday, June 21, 2013

The Greatest City on Earth

I've called Calgary home for nearly 32 years. For 24 hours now, I've been glued to my phone and the devastating images of my city and surrounding areas that I love so much, including Canmore and Bragg Creek. I may have mentioned once or twice that I don't deal well with anxiety.

Just last weekend, our family headed out to the mountains for the first hike of the season on one of our favorite family friendly trails. We had no idea it may be the last time for awhile we'd be able to visit the area.

As terrible as the situation is, I'm always so proud to live in a community that cares as much as ours does. For as many photos as I've seen of homes covered in water, I've seen uplifting ones of our incredible first responders working tirelessly to ensure the safety of the city they've sworn to protect. The offers of help flooding my Facebook and Twitter feeds, and the phone calls and texts from concerned loved ones in other parts of the country have warmed my cold, cynical heart.

By no means do I know all the ways in which people can help at this time and that is sure to change in the coming days, but here are some of the ways you can assist at this time.

First and foremost...

Stay home. Or at the very least, away from high-risk areas. You know, like the swelling rivers that have been photographed extensively. Don't make natural selection do its job. The last thing the police and fire department need to do is be tied up rescuing people who had no reason to be in these areas in the first place. If you need a place to congregate and take photos, there will undoubtedly be opportunities to help (and gawk if you must) in the coming days and weeks. Even the mayor thinks you should.

Don't panic. Check your sources. Wait for reputable sources such as the City of Calgary, Calgary Fire Department Twitter feed or Calgary Police Facebook andTwitter accounts to confirm rumors such as water advisories and evacuations. Everyone has a friend of a friend who's heard something, but don't be the one to announce the sighting of the Four Horsemen of the apocalypse unless you see them riding in yourself. So many of the reports circulating on social media aren't even accurate to begin with. And for the love of mankind, read the advisories completely before spreading potentially false information.

Other ways to help
  • YYCHelps - Fill out a volunteer form and indicate ways you'd like to help including housing displaced families or cleaning up. Information including community fundraisers, where donations can be made and places to go to for help with repairs post-flood (or if you're a Ms/Mr. Fix-It and want to volunteer for repair work) are also available.
  • Supplies are currently needed for displaced residents of the Calgary Drop-In Center.
  • If you can offer shelter to other displaced individuals and families, add your location and info to this map
  • Make a donation to the Red Cross here or text one:
  • Show your love to the first responders. They appreciate it more than you think.

What are some other ways we can help and show the word we really do live in the greatest community in the world?


  1. It's times like these that remind me how proud I am to be a Calgarian. The city will rebuild and be better then ever!

  2. Great post. I am so jealous that you got a hike in. You don't realize that your ability to visit places can be taken away at any time. I agree that Calgary has really banded together during this time. Can't wait to see how everyone will work together to get the city back on its feet.

  3. Hi I'm Heather! Please email me when you get a chance, I have a question about your blog! LifesABanquet1(at)