Friday, June 28, 2013

The hits keep on comin'

Since last week I've been watching the news about the floods in Alberta, and Calgary particularly. A June 22 headline 'Wild Wet Disaster' (London Free Press) makes just a start at describing the impact such floods have on a town, city, province or - at a level most of us can better understand - an individual family's life and livelihood. It will be several years before some families and towns get back to a normal life, and that's only with a great deal of support from government and humanitarian resources. And some never will.

[Calgary's mayor says "the fallout now will
be worse than after the 2005 floods"]

As news outlets are programmed to do, it wasn't long after the floods began that articles appeared - like the one in our local paper - entitled 'Insurance hit ripples nation-wide.' Damages will be examined in detail and costs - some, not all; chiefly financial ones - will be tallied. "It will be a significant hit," says Steve Kee, a spokesperson for the Insurance Bureau of Canada. (June 22, London Free Press)

["All Canadians will share the pain of Alberta flooding"]

Though Alberta's damages will bring about a significant hit to policy holders across Canada, the hits keep on comin'. Spokesperson Kee reminds us that the bulk of damage "caused by overland flooding or overflowing rivers, isn't covered by insurance." The provincial government, federal government and individuals will bear part or much of the cost, and unfortunately that process doesn't always help everyone get back to their normal life or livelihood.

What is also unfortunate is that costly disasters and stunning financial fallouts appear to be increasing. The list supplied by the local paper, documenting some of the costs from past disasters (e.g., $5.4 billion cost associated with an ice storm in Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick in 1998) is likely a very small part of a very long and extremely costly list. That being said, Calgarians should take note that of the 'costliest natural disasters in Canadian history', they appear five of nine times. ("Move East, young man. Move East!" might soon be heard across the land).

The financial fallout of flood, ice and hail storms hasn't buried us yet, but I wonder if we shouldn't become more aware of the causes and effects of extreme weather events and whether we'll be able to afford increased damages and costs in the future.

Photos by GH


Please click here to read more about $$$ costs going North

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