Rebuilding with Red Cross support
When Slave Lake resident Wade Horton left to for work the day of the northern Alberta wildfires evacuation, he had a home and an office. By the end of the day, both had been destroyed.
As an Alberta Fire and Wildlife officer, he was helping out that day with fire area security and was pulled in to help with the evacuation. His family fled to safety with other area residents and stayed with family members for two months.
Wade, his wife and two teenage children lost everything. Wade says when people ask him what it was like, “Think about leaving the house with $20 in your wallet and the clothes on your back and having to start over with that.”
Wade thought he had adequate insurance coverage, but after the fires realized he was under-insured. One of the items he lost was a kit containing all the survival equipment and gear he used as a volunteer for the Slave Lake Search and Rescue team. Because there was only a limited number of replacement kits, he started to put together his own.
“Red Cross was great about checking in with our family to see how we were doing and how they could help, as they knew we didn’t have enough insurance. They found me trying to put together my own survival kit, and asked what they could do,” says Wade.
A Red Cross Caseworker told Wade to give him a list of what was needed for the kit and they would support him as best as they could. He provided a list and Red Cross gave him a substantial contribution towards his gear.
“It was great to have the Red Cross here to start us in the process of rebuilding,” says Wade. “They kept track of us and guided us into getting the help we needed. “The local office has been very helpful and supportive. We’re still living in government housing, but it’s short-term and we’re making do. It’s actually been a positive experience for us and my kids have learned a lot about what’s important, and what’s not.”