As the pictures and stories of the devastation of the community of Fort McMurray continue to make the rounds of social media, it gives many of us pause.
What if that was my home?
Then you shake your head and move on with your day. Because, after all, it’s not your house. But, it could be. All that you have worked for (and on) to rest your weary head at the end of a hard day, bring babies after they’re born and celebrate milestones can be snatched away at an instant. And you can do nothing. NOTHING.
That’s perhaps, one of the biggest messages I took away from our conversation with Cherylyn Sheehan, a former resident of Snowflake, Manitoba turned Albertan. She, her husband and three boys aged 6, 11 and 13, have fled the flames. Not once, but twice. First they left their home in Fort McMurray and traveled to a campground, only to be told they’d have to leave again.
Cherylyn told us that she had an evacuation plan in place They loaded up their camper and her husband drove it to the campground and she and the boys followed. She credits that plan with getting out with much, much more than other people.
While I’m not all about the material ‘stuff’, there are some things that just can’t be replaced. Jewelery, photos, baby mementos and important paperwork…like insurance…come to mind.
Cherylyn and her family are safe, again, now south of Edmonton. At last word, her home was still standing. We can only hope it remains that way for the Sheehans as they are concerned for friends who have lost everything. Through it all, she is less worried about herself and is focused on those who were forced to go north of Ft. McMurray, who are now reliant on supplies coming in by plane. That’s the true spirit of a Canadian and Manitoban. You’re going through something horrendous, but fearing more for others.
Things will happen that are beyond your control, that you can’t be ready for. However, for those that you do have a little notice for like a wildfire…or flood…learn a lesson from Cherylyn. Be a Boy Scout. Be prepared.
What would you grab if you only had limited time to get out of your home, and never get to go back?