Loss of Homes

Bracing for disasters

Climate calamities will increase in BC. What can we learn from survivors? What must be done to help evacuees and save lives? A Tyee series.

A pile of burned scrap metal and fallen trees sits abandoned in front of a forest.
By Francesca Fionda
With files from Aldyn Chwelos, Gage Smith, Geena Mortfield, Michael Lo, Christina Gervais, Amber Bear, Emilie Wren and Sean Holman

The sounds of a siren and bullhorn pull you out of a deep sleep. The red glow of your digital clock reads 03:17 AM. A throbbing orange light seeps through your bedroom blinds. A voice booms out. “Evacuate immediately!” You fight panic. You sort through the cluttered kitchen table to find your wallet and cellphone. You have no idea how long you might be away from home. Or what will await you when you return. In those crucial minutes, you’re just focused on getting out alive. A phone on a table in a dark room.

You’ve joined the growing number of people forced to flee in the face of climate disasters. Throughout this series we’ll explore what can happen and how others have survived.

Over the past several months The Tyee, in partnership with the Climate Disaster Project, has interviewed over a dozen British Columbians displaced by extreme weather related calamities, frontline workers and experts, and analyzed data to understand the scale of the threat in this province and whether its government is up to the task.

Read more about The Tyee’s findings.

This story was originally published in The Tyee, on April 3, 2023.

This story was inspired by the stories of…

  • Billie Sheridan*
  • Danie Brooks*
  • Dian Brooks*
  • Don Glasgow
  • Donna Rae*
  • Ken Pite*
  • Maggie Lord*
  • Micha Kingston*
  • Michele Feist*
  • Owen Collings
  • Patsy Gessey*
  • Racine Jeff*
  • Rochelle Rupert*
  • Tricia Thorpe*

*An asterisk indicates an unpublished as-told-to.

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