Currently, Calgary is in a state of emergency due to flooding. We feel compelled to help, as we should. If you want to help, follow the following guidelines. Emergency workers need your cooperation. Lives are at stake.
Rule #1 Listen to the authorities.
They are under strained resources. Every emergency worker is out there giving every ounce of themselves to save lives. Do what they say. The City of Calgary Emergency bulletins can be found at: http://www.calgarycitynews.com/2013/06/state-of-local-emergency-declared.html
Rule #2 Stay OUT!
AUTHORIZED emergency response team ONLY. Every extra, uninvited car and person slows emergency vehicles. Delayed responses cost lives. Stay out. Don’t give money to anyone who going in uninvited regardless of their claims. Evacuate means everybody out. Emergency teams do not have the time to worry about some “expert” taking space and additional time or resources away from those that need it most.
Rule #3 Donate money
The City of Calgary is asking that donations be make to the Red Cross. A donation fund has been established. According to the Calgary Humane Society blog, they are sheltering a number of animals. (Can we say how awesome Calgary is to have an emergency shelter??) Do not send things, send money. You do not know what items are most needed now – immediately. Emergency workers don’t have the time to tell you. Let them buy what they need and avoid wasted product. For example, dry pet food can quickly become moldy in a flood situation, becoming dangerous to eat. Do keep an eye on their websites as lists of required items become available.
Rule #4 Be Efficient
Many roads are closed. Donations sent by car or plane might not even arrive at the destination. Let’s be sensible here. How much is gas or airfare? E-transfer the cost of that ticket and help more people. The transportation fees are a waste of money that could better serve so many people. It’s easier to transport product from the communities surrounding the flood zone than to bring them from another province. Use common sense to make every penny count.
Rule #5 This is not a media photo op.
The people that need your help are slugging away in the trenches. They do not have time to call press conferences. Go back to rule number 1,2 and 3. Don’t give money to people who engage in any of the above. This is not the time for stunts from media junkies.
Someone’s life very well may depend on the response time of one emergency worker. Follow the rules. Stay out of the area. Send money through legitimate channels. Don’t waste precious resources.
In the coming days, as more information becomes available, I’ll post it here. In the meantime, send donations direct to the links below. Skip the middle man. It could save someone’s life.
UPDATE: Jun 26, 2013
PetValu & Bosley’s is taking donations in store for Heaven Can Wait, one of the rescues involved with the onsite rescues. Donations can be made in the store from Jun 26 – Jun 30th. Thanks Karima for the information.
According to a Facebook post, the following organizations are involved with sheltering animals according to Calgary Flood Lost/Found Pets& Fostering:
1. All rescued cats have been moved to area shelters. You can find those listed on my page. (Heaven Can Wait, Cyndi’s Pet Palace, Calgary Humane Society, Nanton Vet Clinic etc.)
2. Any cats remaining in homes have been given food for one week and will continue to be fed by emergency personnel as long as necessary.
3. Dogs have been rescued and taken to shelters.
You will get a recorded message if you call the pet rescue line at 403-603-0263 informing you that everything is being done to make sure your pets are okay and that, due to the high call volume, they aren’t taking any more pet rescue requests at this time.