Loss of Homes

What I saved from the disaster

Nine climate catastrophe survivors share what they fought to keep as they fled for their lives, in words and pictures.

A woman with dark hair and hoop earrings stands in a snowing clearing holding a brown rifle.
By Francesca Fionda
With files from Aldyn Chwelos, Christina Gervais, Amber Bear, Emilie Wren, Gage Smith, Geena Mortfield and Michael Lo

Our wallet, phone and charger probably top the list of what you would grab while fleeing in the face of a disaster. These are essential items that will help you navigate whatever you might face next. But what about possessions that hold a special place in your heart? What would you try to save?

For The Tyee’s series “Bracing for Disasters” photographers Philip McLachlan and Jen Osborne and I visited climate catastrophe survivors across the province. They welcomed us into their homes and shared their stories of escape and hopes for the future. Some also shared the precious objects they fought to keep safe, managed to take with them or recovered from the ash of a wildfire or muddy residue of a flood.

Read more about The Tyee’s findings.

This story was originally published in The Tyee, on April 10, 2023.

This Story Was Inspired By The Stories Of…

  • Billie Sheridan*
  • Danie Brooks*
  • Dian Brooks*
  • Ryan Kehler*
  • Micha Kingston*
  • Michele Feist*
  • Owen Collings*
  • Patsy Gessey*
  • Racine Jeff*
  • Rochelle Rupert*

*An asterisk indicates an unpublished as-told-to.

Related Stories

A pile of burned scrap metal and fallen trees sits abandoned in front of a forest.
Loss of Homes

Bracing for disasters

By Francesca Fionda

A photo of Sandy Ibrahim sitting on a bench holding produce from a garden.
2021 Western North American Heat Wave

“My generation could have stopped this.”

Sandy Ibrahim, Victoria, Canada

A photo of Billie Sheridan wearing a black coat and glasses looking proudly at the camera.
Loss of Homes

‘A major gap’ in BC’s disaster evacuation support

By Francesca Fionda

Scroll To Top