Like many other families, Roberta, Randy and their four children’s lives would be changed drastically on May 3, 2016. It’s a day, thousands were evacuated from their homes because of the devastating forest fires in Fort McMurray. During the evacuation that Tuesday evening, it took the family 19 hours to arrive to Edmonton (normally a 4-5 hour drive). They were told by a friend to go to Northlands. Upon arrival, the emotionally drained and traumatized family, were given cots to sleep on in a jam packed room with fellow evacuees. A few days into their stay, their son found out his friend had been killed in a motor vehicle accident during the evacuation. This tragic news made a stressful and emotionally draining time even more so. Roberta found it difficult to reach out to supports due to stress and her inability to think clearly. She was eventually treated for asthma.
Thankfully the family obtained three dorms in a University of Alberta residency through Northlands. The dorms gave them more privacy and comfort. The family then connected with The Mustard Seed through the recommendations of friends and met with Candice, a Support Worker. Candice worked with the family to obtain much needed household items such as plates, phones, utensils, dinnerware, and mugs through the Personal Assistance Centre. Candice also provided the family with information and resources around Edmonton.
“It was really eye opening, the Fort McMurray evacuation, it made us appreciate the little things. We are slowly continuing to collect items. We’ve been able to gradually achieve certain things and reclaim the things we lost, which really helps.” says Roberta.
If you are a Fort Mac evacuee and in need of basic items and support please call our main line at 780-426-5600 and speak to a Community Support Worker.