Alberni must fend for itself

Wait for the army to come to the rescue? Be prepared for a wait, a former military person says.

To the Editor,

Re: City can’t rely on outside aid, Letters, March 16.

Further to Trevor Jackson’s letter last week, I can’t stress enough that no one or no city should rely on the military to get you through hard times.

My husband and I endured 17 days without power during the Ice Storm in 1998 in Ontario. Many others had it much worse. To make matters worse, the train had pulled down several rows of ice laden power lines before it could stop and it blew major power boxes.

Thankfully the rec centre was opened for those who couldn’t manage at home and we could take showers. At least here you will have the new high school and Echo Centre that hopefully will have generators and become centres to house people.

The military did eventually show up, but had to ask for directions on how to get where they were going. That was the last we saw of them.

Both my husband and I are retired military personnel and if conditions weren’t so dire, we would have laughed.

Port Alberni is lucky to have a radio station.

In Ontario we did not and even though we listened to an Ottawa station, not once did they ever mention how the outer rural towns were doing, or when lines where going to be reinstated.

We ended up fending for ourselves and looking after elderly neighbours with hot meals from the barbecue. We donated all our freezer food to help feed those who stayed in the rec centre.

Make sure that you have lots of full propane tanks and candles on hand, batteries and a radio with its own power source, and don’t forget cash.

We have come to the realization that you have to learn to rely on yourselves as you can’t count on anyone else.

We agree too that now is the time to formulate a plan of action to help those who cannot help themselves.

Carole Walker,

Port Alberni