Oh hey, here’s a follow up to my post about dealing with that massive snow storm that hit Calgary on Wednesday.
We live in an older neighborhood and because of that there
are were an infinite number of big, 20 - 40 foot, sprawling maple trees. This ensured our neighborhood got hit hard. Our house got hit really hard. Power was down, cars were wrecked, and roads were impassable. You couldn’t actually get out our door and into our backyard because seven (yes, seven!) 40 year old trees collapsed to the ground.
This meant that Wednesday was very weird. I ditched work and spent five very cold and very physical hours clearing all of the fallen trees off our tiny property, just so things would be safe and accessible. I hung out with cops, firemen, and drove around begging for power tools. I’m totally bummed about the damage we took on, but am feeling pretty good about how the neighborhood came together to restore and repair things quickly. Less than 24 hours later everything was in a safe and solid state. With that said, I’m still driving around and I’ll pass certain streets and my jaw will drop because of how mangled things are.
Ironically, some of the new neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city were untouched (flat streets, no trees). I LOL’d pretty good at some unnecessarily distraught people posting pictures of their damaged herb gardens or slightly limp 18 month old aspen trees.
A few things I learned from this whole ordeal:
- How to break down and move trees efficiently. How to operate chainsaws, pruning saws, etc. How important a good pair of boots are. (duh!)
- That neighbors can react and come together quickly in times of crisis but businesses can’t. The staff at Canadian Tire were still unavailable and apathetic as fuck despite the steady stream of people in dire need of tools. The Safeway staff had literal panic attacks when their terminals stopped working and became worried about losing their jobs when people were just looking for a warm cup of coffee and unable to pay.
- That most people - myself included - don’t own enough basic tools to solve problems in times of catastrophe… and if they do, they don’t know how to use them. Everyone needs an axe, a saw, a shovel, a source of portable heat to cook with, and a generator. Everyone.
- Cash is king. Fuck an ATM.
- That we’re overdependent on the internet for contact and communication. Power goes out in my house and I’m not worried I can access the web using my cell phone Cell tower goes down and I’m convinced the sky will begin to fall.