Perspective from Fort McMurray fire

This week I intended to write about starting the Canadian Securities Course, but I’ve been distracted by the disaster happening in Fort McMurray. If you don’t know, it’s a town in Alberta, Canada, that has been completely evacuated because of forest fires.

About 88,000 people have had to leave their homes and belongings behind. Many houses and businesses have been destroyed, although the full extent of the damage is not yet known. A state of emergency has been called and the federal government will match donations made to the Red Cross.

In the tragedy there are stories of goodwill, such as the Syrian refugees who recently came to Canada and now want to help Fort McMurray evacuees. And this story about a bride-to-be whose wedding gown burned but who found a new one when the call went out and people came forward. All over Canada there are stories of people coming together to help.

It will take years for the residents to recover, emotionally and financially. For most Canadians their home is their main investment and largest asset. What do you do when it disappears? What do you do when your source of income, either your own business or place of employment, also disappears? How do you provide for yourself and your loved ones?

Unfortunately, tens of thousands of people in Alberta will find out. Fortunately, stuff is just stuff and can be replaced. What really matters is the people in your life. They’re going to need each other, and the rest of us, to get through this.

You can donate to the Red Cross here: www.redcross.ca

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