Imagine you’re fast asleep and you’re suddenly awoken by the fire alarm. There are flames all around you and you must get out of the house immediately. What’s the one thing you grab and take with you?
I’m betting it wasn’t an information checklist.
In May of 2016 the town of Fort McMurray, AB, was evacuated in what was the larges wildfire evacuation in Alberta’s history. 88,000 residents were forced from their homes and the fire destroyed approximately 2,400 residences. Many residents were forced to leave with very little notice. And in the scramble, they were forced to leave directly from work without the chance to grab anything from home. Many couldn’t return for months. It was a true disaster.
Imagine landing in Edmonton, with literally nothing. Not even your wallet or cell phone.
I witnessed first-hand a young woman at a bank branch attempting to withdraw money from her chequing account in the days following the evacuation. She had just relocated to Fort McMurray for work. She had just moved into a new apartment and the address wasn’t yet firm in her memory. She did not have a bank card. She did not have a driver’s license. She didn’t know her account number. She had no personally identifiable information with which the bank could validate her identity. She was literally unable to prove her identity to access her own money.
In addition, she had lost her cell phone in the scramble and couldn’t remember the phone numbers for any of her friends and family who could have helped her out. (Let’s be honest, who remembers phone numbers anymore?)
She was in a bad spot.
What would you do in the same situation?
Would never happen to you?
The 88,000 residents of Fort McMurray thought the same.
Do you have an Information Organizer accessible to you in case of emergency? If you’re like most, you probably don’t. You should.