The Floods in Calgary, Summer 2013

Do school children still begin a new year by reviewing ‘What I did on my summer vacation’? With very little reflection, I know what I would write about if I were starting a new school year.

With offices across the country, AnswerPlus staff members are always mindful of how events in other cities and provinces affect us. In June, we watched in awe as massive flash floods in and around Calgary devastated the region. We felt the city’s shock as the iconic Saddledome was submerged beneath river waters so deep that they overflowed and flooded the city’s famous Stampede grounds.

We received first-hand reports from our Alberta-based Business Development Manager who, along with hundreds of volunteers, spent days clearing basements of debris and sorting through countless bags of donations for those who had been evacuated and had lost everything.

Our AnswerPlus offices in Toronto, Hamilton, and Montreal were there to assist doing what we do best  answering calls from individuals who need help. Without being there to personally witness the damage and destruction, we helped to alleviate the distress of callers needing assistance. Call volumes from our Alberta-based customers increased by over 30%, and we ensured that every single caller received the help that was needed.

Less than two weeks later, Toronto was hit by flash floods, with images of the swollen Don and Humber Rivers replacing the pictures of damage along the banks of Calgary’s Bow and Elbow Rivers. Lake Ontario’s waves threatened shoreline businesses, power outages swept across the GTA, and our call volumes tripled as we relied on all of our extra resources to handle the ‘waves’ of calls. The names were different but the requests were similar; we helped individuals needing oxygen tanks, elderly people requiring assistance to relocate, and youngsters searching for lost pets.

Just as our schedules were returning to normal, it was Hamilton’s turn for a massive storm, with lightning strikes and howling winds forcing road closures and knocking out power for days.  Our operations sites again pitched in with all personnel assisting in whatever way they could to manage call volumes that set office records.

The floods of 2013 are thankfully behind us. There is still considerable clean-up and rebuilding, particularly in Alberta, and we are thankful that all members of our AnswerPlus family are safe.

When a crisis or natural disaster hits any part of our country, we are there to help. If you need assistance in handling emergency or routine calls, let us know what we can do. Whatever help you need, we’re happy to provide it.

Now bring on Fall…gently please.