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This world is on fire...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dcc001, May 5, 2016.

  1. Dcc001

    Dcc001
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    New Bitch On Top

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    So, Fort McMurray. Anyone in Canada - and certainly almost everyone in Alberta - is familiar with this city, because it's produced all the bitumen and oil that have bankrolled the country for the last few decades.

    One of the challenges Ft. Mac has often faced is that it is technically a city of 80,000 or so. Which anyone who lives/visits there knows is bullshit. That's like saying the population of Vegas is 350,000. Virtually all the workers at the refineries live elsewhere. So not only is a proper headcount difficult, but the infrastructure is constantly stretched to the max. You have a city with services for 80k and a tax base of 80k supporting what (at its peak) was likely hundreds of thousands more people than that, counting the surrounding areas.

    And it's pretty much all going to be destroyed once the dust settles. Another issue in Ft. Mac is property values. They went so sky high with the boom that many residents rent. So while the property owner will be compensated for the destroyed home, only those with renter's insurance will have their contents covered.

    Anyone wishing to donate can do so via the Red Cross. The federal government will match all private donations.

    You can donate here:

    https://donate.redcross.ca/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1951&ea.campaign.id=50610

    Focus: Any experiences in Ft Mac?

    My family is deeply into construction. My father spent YEARS up north. When he was sent by his company over to Russia in 2005, it was to a bleak desolate job site. One of his coworkers followed him over a few months later, and my dad told me to tell his friend, "Tell Buddy it's like Fort Mac 20 years ago." I relayed the message and his friend, Buddy, replied, "So then I'll need a gun."

    Alt. Focus: Ever had a run in with fire?

    EDIT (thanks Angel): Alt-Alt Focus: You have five minutes to throw some shit in a bag and run. What do you grab?
     
    #1 Dcc001, May 5, 2016
    Last edited: May 5, 2016
  2. Angel_1756

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    I've been fortunate. I've never been in a fire or had anything I loved destroyed by fire. I can't fathom what the people of Fort McMurray are going through. The town where a bunch of people were evacuated now has to be evacuated itself. They have to pick up and leave again. I've seen videos of people driving down highways where there are explosions all around them like fucking Fallujah. Fire like that is terrifying. It's fast, it's relentless, it's devastating.

    On a related note, my coworker and I were discussing this today. I've never really been part of a natural disaster (intermittent flooding and ice storms never damaged my property beyond washing away some sod and denting my car roof a bit). If I had to evacuate my house for whatever reason, I don't know what I'd grab. The kid, probably. Her meds. Maybe a few pieces of jewelry that belonged to my grandmother. But honestly, that's about it. Any important documents are copied and kept in a safe deposit box at a bank in a different town. My coworker said she'd grab her passport, just because of the hassle of having to get it reissued. Not I. Kid, Meds, Wallet, Keys, Phone, Purse. Husband will undoubtedly be carrying at least one multi-tool and a decent sized blade. That's probably all we'd take with us.

    Alt-Alt Focus: You have five minutes to throw some shit in a bag and run. What do you grab?
     
  3. Dcc001

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    I actually thought this question through this morning!

    - Both dogs, though they don't fit in a bag.
    - My purse, which has my passport and wallet right now.
    - The blanket off the bed I've had since childhood.
    - The mouthguard I wear at night to stop headaches.
    - Presumably we'd leave in my truck, so whatever is presently in the vehicle comes just through happenstance.

    Anything else, I'm completely fine living without indefinitely. Most of this shit was in storage for months during the move or recently bought; almost no material stuff has any kind of sentimental value to me. Even the knick knacks I inherited from dead relatives are more of a nuisance than anything else. Losing them in a house fire would be a guilt-free excuse.
     
  4. GTE

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    I'd grab the usual change of clothes, whatever cash I had, yada yada yada. The items I would go in and get, even if the house was on fire, would be the guns I got from my dad. They're the only items I own that are truly irreplaceable. He's had them ever since I can remember and about the only thing I got from him when he passed.
     
  5. Hoosiermess

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    Alt Alt Focus: I keep a travel bag mostly packed so I'd grab that, my safe (contains cash, guns, ammo) and a couple rifles. Everything else is covered by insurance and I can buy clothing or whatever later. I'm assuming that my wallet, keys, and whatever are in my pocket. It's then just whether the leave my work truck or my jeep there to be destroyed.
     
  6. Misanthropic

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    We keep all of our important crap, along with some photos and other things, in a fireproof box (calling it a safe would be stretching it). So that, the cat, my phone/keys/wallet, my '75 Nolan Ryan baseball card, my autographed W.A.S.P. CD, that wooden box I made in 8th grade wood shop, the empty wine bottle we saved from the night the Missanthropic was conceived, our-all inclusive Disney park passes from 2006, and my fishing rod.
     
  7. Zach

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    Just saw this video today... it is insane. Looks like the apocalypse.



    Alt-Alt Focus: Not too much that I couldn't replace the important thing would be to grab the pets
     
  8. Crown Royal

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    The fire is bigger than all five Burroughs of New York City put together.
     
  9. shegirl

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    I saw that video this morning. It's just eerie. I feel so bad for the people practically running for their life. Sad stuff.
     
  10. Crown Royal

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    Pre-fire stuff I know about the place: Fort McMurray for some time has been a bonifide boom town, in the way Detroit was in the 40's but way colder. Three hours north of Edmonton, and Dead of Winter like none other. I considered going there before Becoming a parent and declining, but my best friend went for 10 months. And I heard some shit about that place. My best friend is the toughest, most fearless and intimidating person I've ever known. That place scared him. And I'll quote him:

    "Lots of nice homes, a lot of money and things to spend it on. They don't show you the guns and the savagery you see at night there, though."

    "Strip clubs, casinos, gyms, bars with big screens, lots of businesses that only employ nubile girls. Occasional undercover treehuggers trying to cause some commotion because they hate the place; And LOTS of drug dealers selling gear at very high prices."

    Why would you drive three hours north in a town to be a waitress that's 70% men?

    "Because the average salary is almost a hundred grand a YEAR. You make a killing as a hotel clerk."

    Why NOT live there?

    "Because we were told the double-wide trailers in the middle of nothing you can live in cost $300,000. The land it's on costs almost that much as well."

    "Somebody shot at us one night. Like, with a handgun. We have no idea why. It was snowing and maybe he mistook us but I've never seen a gun even PULLED on somebody before."

    "I had a really high suicide rate, a lot of guys relationships end while they're working out here or get laid off before they've put enough time in for E.I (which is usually over 75% there)."

    "Sometimes during a whiteout we'd have to wear a harness and lanyard to lines running between buildings. If you werent tied off and were blown away from the buildings by the storm you were as good as dead."

    He made a quarter million dollars in almost a year doing an unskilled job, he said "You need to be either from there, or want good money. It was isolated, unpredictable and had a nasty underbelly at times. Never again."

    That being said, he is just as upset as the rest of us about what's happening there, he's watching place he knew and people he knew for a year get ruined. Can you fucking believe there are assholes out there actually happy about this? Go knit a cloth bracelet and dance in the flames, pricks. There are LOTS of families up there. Pets and animals that had no chance. Everything incinerated because it can't be stopped, it's just horrific.
     
  11. TX.

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    Alt-Focus: Nope. One of my biggest fears along with drowning. One of my cousins had over 60% of his body burned when he was 3. The effects were horrendous and long lasting. I remember him being careflighted to Dallas. Over the years we visited him at Ronald McDonald houses in between surgeries. I was always nervous to go because I didn't know what I was supposed to say or how to act. After a while I figured out that I just had to act normal.

    Alt-Alt: My rings, the cat, and my grandmother's engagement ring.

    I don't know how successful I would be getting the cat out. A few years ago my apt building was on fire. The alarm was going off, I smelled smoke, heard people out in the halls and then heard a fire truck's siren. After wrestling with my cat for a solid 20 minutes trying to get him into a pillowcase I said, "Screw it," and walked out. I really wanted to take him, but he wouldn't get in the damn pillowcase! (It probably didn't help that I was freaking the fuck out a little bit). All I could think of was potential flames in the hallway and me dying in a fire because I'm obsessed with my cat.
     
    #11 TX., May 5, 2016
    Last edited: May 5, 2016
  12. Nettdata

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    The one good thing about it is that due to the nature of the town, they can relocate almost 50k people into camp housing that was shut down due to the low oil prices.

    The other part of this is that this will probably help the local economy as there will now be tons of work to rebuild, and rebuild they must. The oil is still there, and it will still need to be extracted.

    Meanwhile, here in BC, we're experiencing our driest spring ever, and are bracing for an even worse fire season than we had last year. So much so that we couldn't send resources to help Fort Mac.


    My mom's out visiting, and she's amazed at just how close the scorched forests are to where I live... 1/2 mile away, if that.
     
  13. Crown Royal

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    Does it get worse every year? It's hard to judge with so much crap in the media getting in the way, but between this and the insane floodings and tornados in the States in the past few years, disaster weather seems to be getting worse.
     
  14. Nettdata

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    Over the last 5 years it's gotten worse. We broke high temps by 6-8 degrees so far this spring. It's warm enough and dry enough that they're calling for a double fruit harvest.
     
  15. Crown Royal

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    Just call me Topher

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    It was strange here. Barely any snow and and the ground never truly froze over winter. In the snow belt, in the middle of the Great Lakes. We have snowy owls flying around in Ilderton 10 km away, they're Arctic birds. But there's no way of knowing or proving in such a short span of time what, how, will it pass, are we doing something really wrong, etc. Too many different debate points.

    Another good thing about this is how people are sticking together and helping each other out in the crisis. But like you said, BC really cannot spare the aid with what very well could be coming. It's a shitty catch-22 but it's true.
     
  16. TJMax

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    Won't fit in a bag, but I can carry it all: The two cats that get along in a big cat carrier, the other cat in a small one. Take two hard drives out of my computer, with my OS and media. Finally I grab a multiply-autographed football, that I still don't have in a case 30 years after I got it (it's been in plastic the whole time). I put the aforementioned junk in with the cats, and get the fuck out of Dodge.
     
  17. Danger Boy

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    The smoke finally showed up in Western Minnesota today. I imagine the next week or so will be pretty hazy.
     
  18. Nettdata

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    They expect the fire to double in size by tomorrow and last for two weeks.

    Damn.
     
  19. toddamus

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    My parents live in San Diego. Fire is just like flooding in some parts, it happens. Two years ago my parents house was surrounded by three separate fires each no more than 10 miles away. They were one street over from the evacuation line from one of them. What was really scary about that episode was it seemed like an arsonists was running up and down the 15 setting fires in built up residential areas. Its frightening watching the news and hearing reports from my parents. Seeing where the fires are on a map and hearing from my dad where they are makes them seem a hell of a lot closer than they actually were. When I got back to San Diego after that and saw where the fires were, my fears were justified. Our house is at the top of one of the arroyos that one of them was running up and the biggest fire, the one which they were on the evac boundary, was one hill over.

    Fires in San Diego suck. Beautiful amazing area, some of the best food in the country. But fire is something that happens, where it starts is exceptionally unpredictable, and for the sociopath arsonists out there they aren't hard to start.
     
  20. Kubla Kahn

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    The thread title, every time: