Mark Blinch / Reuters
I have been fortunate to be able to assist on the ground with disaster relief in communities across Alberta including the Slave Lake fire in 2011 and the Calgary floods in 2013, and I've learned that cash donations, even small ones, are by far the most effective way to help those recovering from a disaster.
"It's not just what the breach did environmentally to us; it's what has happened with the bad publicity we got when this went around the world. That also hurt everybody here."
Disaster management is the preparation for, mitigation of, response to, and recovery from adverse events that transcend 'regular' emergencies while political philosophy asks the 'big' questions about power in society -- who gets what, and why? And when a fatal disease without a known cure moves rapidly from human to human it's not just about food supplies and First Aid Kits -- the question of who gets what, and why, becomes central.
Alberta is about to mop up a massive mess. Mother Nature has shown us, in no uncertain terms, who the boss is.
The ferocity of the floods we are facing is mind-boggling. Tens of thousands of people are displaced, countless homes and businesses are damaged, and an infinite number of dreams, plans, and schedules have been washed away. It is devastating.
It's obviously troubling that a small number would use the disaster as an excuse to loot; to violently steal another person's possessions, cause damage and inflict even greater misery on an already suffering community. But is price gouging really at all comparable to looting? I'm disappointed not that price gouging is occurring, but that it's only been isolated.
As we observe the historic flood and the damage it has done to this marvellous city and its neighbours, I wanted to list the great many things to celebrate about Calgary and southern Alberta. It's a reminder of why you should visit, once the water has receded and the restoration has begun.
Like all forms of luxury travel, a cruise isn't inherently dangerous. But these days, buyers need to be more aware than ever when making their cruise purchase. My advice when someone asks about going on a multi-day cruise aboard a mega-liner is always the same: Don't go.
Hurricane Sandy certainly got our attention. Billions of dollars (and counting) in damages. Communities crippled and left in the cold without electricity. Nearly 200 lives lost. Sadly, with the stark realities of climate change and frequency of extreme weather events, this likely won't be the last natural disaster we experience or witness in our lifetime or even this decade. So, what are we to do about that?
Back in the 70s, I was a reporter for WABC-TV, New York when we started an early evening news program called Eyewitness News. It was a time of ponderous, pompous, patronizing, local news fronted by distant, ultra-serious "voice of God" anchors. Eyewitness News changed all that.