Friday, June 21, 2013

Kudos Calgary On Your Evacuation Procedures

This morning I read with great disgust some of the whining and crabbing comments of a few of the thousands of Calgarians told to evacuate their homes due to flooding and possible flooding in their areas of the city.

They are intensely dissatisfied because they felt bullied into leaving their homes before being forced out by high water levels, inconvenienced unnecessarily by the City of Calgary evacuation forces, put upon, coerced into abandoning their earthly possessions, even before evidence of flooding hit their streets. They feel betrayed by evacuation overkill.

Even though I appreciate how they feel about being so badly inconvenienced, reading these comments infuriates me.  Yes, it is very likely some folk were evacuated who, when all is said and done, didn't need to be.  It is possible the City of Calgary went into overdrive to protect its citizens from danger and even "merely" possible danger.  It is possible some people have been unnecessarily inconvenienced for the sake of taking every precaution to save lives.

And this is so very wrong??  Are you kidding me???  Have they no idea whatsoever how quickly water can rise and become threatening?  Do they really want to play fast and loose with their own lives?  Do they enjoy bellyaching so much that they prefer to risk their lives and then have yet another reason to complain about their city rescue teams as they find themselves packing up a small box of belongings in less than an hour's time and fleeing through knee deep water because they were not evacuated sooner?

The whole thing smacks of the wide spread mentality out here in the west that says, "Nobody's going to tell ME what to do!"  It is an unattractive mentality at the best of times and it is particularly ridiculous when people refuse to evacuate for their own safety, just because they were told by someone else to do it. Yes, they have the right to refuse to go, no one has twisted their arms behind their backs and physically forced them out.  One comment that angered me the most: "I will go when I am damned good and ready to go!"  Well, sir, you have the right to that decision, but if you find yourself in serious danger as a result don't turn around then and again blame the evacuation teams who tried to tell you in advance to get yourself out of a possibly dangerous situation.

Yes it is inconvenient and very worrisome to abandon home and possessions that could then be vandalized, miss out on work and school, flee for your lives and then discover it wasn't actually necessary. However is it not wiser to take the precaution?  How can you be so very ungrateful to the City for attempting to ensure your safety?  

Kudos to Calgary for its preparation and evacuation plan!!  This is more than a rehearsal. This is the real thing and the proof that you have a plan, a plan that has and will save lives in the face of natural disasters. Your "better safe than sorry" attitude and planning is a great example to other cities who may be faced with flooding in the future.  Bringing in extra police from other cities to protect the homes and possessions of the evacuated neighbourhoods is great! Making good use of your personnel resources to evacuate each specific neighbourhood completely on the first walk through rather than taking out a street or two and then having to race back over and over to evacuate more people as the waters rise is a very smart, more cost effective, way to go.

Thank you City of Calgary for protecting friends near and dear to me through your careful planning and excellent execution of the evacuation. 

1 comment:

chris e. said...

Absolutely! Having one volunteer walk up and ask people to leave is a much more efficient use of manpower and equipment than waiting till people have to be rescued from rooftops. What would the people who refused to go say then? That someone should have warned them?
It makes me so angry when people drive on closed roads or defy evacuation orders, then expect emergency crews to risk their own lives rescuing the fools who thought they 'knew better.'