The Government of Alberta and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo have released the Re-entry Booklet. It is a comprehensive document that should be reviewed before heading back to Fort McMurray.
While I am optimistic about the future, I am realizing that it won't be business as usual for quite some time. My stress is building with the whole process of going back, assessing damage, and planning next steps. This is unfamiliar territory for most of us and feeling a little on edge is a normal reaction.
As one of our boys has breathing issues, we're going to wait until the air quality is consistently good before bringing him back. Looking at the air quality index this morning, it is still pretty bad, even after a cool and wet weekend. The thought of having to bring in 14 days worth of food and supplies for all four of us also doesn't make sense. Heather and I will go in alone, check things out, then go from there. It's hard to picture what it is going to look and feel like to be back.
Part of my re-entry program will be to check out The Redpoll Centre. I'm guessing that power was maintained throughout most of the evacuation period, but there will likely be some precious specimens in the fridges.
It is strange the thing I miss the most. I have this old school calendar that I use to organize my life. It is back in my study in Fort McMurray. It is like I have a missing appendage.
I miss cutting the grass. Perhaps it is asinine, but being able to spark up the mower and trim the grass will be the best feeling in the world. I'm sure Heather feels the same way about planting the garden and weeding the flower beds.
We will need to be extra mindful of each other in the next few weeks. These are going to be unpredictable days that will evoke all kinds of emotions and responses. There is no right way to emotionally manage all of this, except to honour what you're feeling, and respect what others are feeling. We'll make it through this re-entry phase if we look out for one another.