If we take one thing away from witnessing the horror of what’s going on in Fort McMurray, let it be a new respect for how quickly life can change.
I had heard of a fire burning near the city, but it was much the same last year in British Columbia, Alberta and northern Saskatchewan, although this year, fire season came earlier than usual.
Suddenly, word came on Tuesday that the entire city was under mandatory evacuation and dramatic photos began to appear of cars driving by walls of fire and other heartbreaking images of a situation that those outside the affected area can’t begin to comprehend.
Of course, we all want to help as much as we can through donations and let those in Fort McMurray that our thoughts and hearts are with them, but to leave your home or business on a moment’s notice with barely the clothes on your back, uncertain how friends and maybe even other family members are faring, is beyond frightening.
To be unsure if your house or place of employment is still standing, knowing that this uncertainty will go on for an undetermined length of time and rebuilding could take years is something that has to be experienced to truly understand it and hopefully, relatively few people will have to in their lifetimes.
The golf industry is a microcosm of a bigger human drama, but scenes such as this of the initial evacuation at Fort McMurray Golf Club on Tuesday, offer a graphic illustration of what was happening, as did these photos taken by superintendent Jeff Hacior, just before leaving himself.
As the statement points out, the most important thing is that everyone got out safely, but like the rest of the city, their lives have likely changed dramatically from just a week or two ago.
GNN blogger Tiffany Gordon can relate to how quickly life can change, although she says here that it’s tough to compare the two situations.
In her case, she played a major role at Cottonwood Golf and Country Club near Calgary when flooding hit in 2013 and in the rebuilding efforts afterwards.
At the time the flood hit, she was also concerned for family members in hard-hit High River, Alta. Three years later, there is still work going on that is a result of the flood. The visuals of the flooding and rebuild here will refresh your memory.
In both cases, the emergencies struck quickly, forcing golf course personnel to react to get people out of there safely, including themselves. With two such incidents in the past three years, has it caused you to rethink your emergency procedures or review your insurance?
Could you get a large number of people out of there at a moment’s notice? Would you be able to quickly locate every golfer and staff member?
Are you prepared for such devastating events, even if they may never happen at your operation? That’s the question in this week’s GNN Poll.
You can vote below or on the GNN home page and, as always, your opinions are welcomed in the Comments box below.
Would the golf operation where you’re employed be properly prepared for a sudden catastrophic emergency?
- NO (69%)
- YES (31%)