Reflections of Calgary Flood 2013

Calgary Alberta, Flood of 2013
Calgary Alberta, Flood of 2013 (Photo credit: waynerd)

Calgary Flood 2013……..where do I begin? Words cannot describe the reality of this disaster.  Pictures seem surreal.  All reminders that “we” have very little control when it comes to Mother Nature.  I find myself drawn to the news coverage and then reeling with the scope of the impact the flood has had on my friends and neighbors.  I have personally been overwhelmed with emotions, many I think due to the fact some things, many things are just out of our control.

As a Nurse in the Renal Program my mind then went to all the what ifs? The things we as professionals, try to anticipate and plan for.  I am proud to work in the Southern Alberta Renal Program and have nothing but positive things to say about everyone involved. The “plan” worked! More importantly the “TEAM” worked!!!

Calgary Alberta, Flood of 2013
Calgary Alberta, Flood of 2013 (Photo credit: waynerd)

Social Media has changed the way the world is able to respond. It was amazing seeing the events unfold moment by moment, post by post, tweet by tweet.  I think this is both good and bad.  There are always those people who feel the need to get the best photo, best video in hopes that their “work” will go viral……..I was shocked that despite the pleas of our first responders to stay away from the river……there “they” were standing on bridges, and on the paths by the river providing pictures and video.  Then of course there were also the people who were told to evacuate but stayed to “ride out the flood”.  Personally I think all these people should be fined, or better yet arrested.  It is not the job of our first responders to risk their lives, to save yours….. just cause you did not heed the warnings.  Our first responders are someones’ son/daughter/brother/sister/mother/father…..I think you get the picture!! Respect and a HUGE THANK-YOU is what they deserve!!

Calgary Alberta, Flood of 2013
Calgary Alberta, Flood of 2013 (Photo credit: waynerd)

It warms my heart to see and hear about all the acts of kindness.  People who step up to help because they see a fellow human being in need.  I remember seeing a post after the Boston Marathon Bombing from Mr.Rogers.  He told the story of being a young boy and feeling afraid when he saw the news and something bad happened in the world.  Mr.Rogers went on to say his Mother would tell him……but you need to see that there are always people running TOWARDS the disaster to HELP other people.  Simple Truth…..a simple message I will pass along.

Calgary Alberta, Flood of 2013
Calgary Alberta, Flood of 2013 (Photo credit: waynerd)

So what have a learned……have a plan, make sure everyone knows the plan, practice the plan, if you have to activate the plan……re-evaluate and revise……then know that no matter what NO  plan will  include all the variables and you will have to revise as you go…..have a great team, respect authority, follow direction, know that NO act of kindness is too small…….NEVER forget that disasters happen all over this world everyday…….and that they too involve PEOPLE who just want to protect their family and friends.  People just like “US”

Yours in Nursing,

Heather Dean

Calgary Alberta, Flood of 2013
Calgary Alberta, Flood of 2013 (Photo credit: waynerd)

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