Slave Lake: Supporting a Town After a Devastating Wildfire
Restoring business operations after a wildfire affects the entire community is a vital yet difficult task. The small town of Slave Lake lies more than 100 miles north of Alberta’s capital of Edmonton. Nestled on the southeast shore of Lesser Slave Lake and at the junction of two highways, the town serves as a central point to the region. The town also has connections to Canada’s earliest inhabitants, with the Sawridge First Nation reserve's administrative office residing in the city. Residents put their trust in the local government to maintain continuity in public services and utilities. Being in a remote region puts added pressure on the local administration to maintain continuity during a disaster.
Challenge: Restoring Operations After a Wildfire
A wildfire that ignited only the day before had just begun to impact large parts of Slave Lake. Strong winds pushed flames into the town, and all 7,000 residents were ordered to evacuate. With the highways closed, residents had to find safety on beaches, parking lots, and other open spaces as houses and businesses were destroyed around them. Our client in the city was a large insurance provider who lost their office. After a disaster of this scale, their agents knew they would need to process claims and help start the recovery process for families.
After our client declared a disaster, we delivered a mobile recovery unit to the closest town. Agents could work from desks fully equipped with chairs, computers, and phones. Agility provided the 4G LTE Internet connection and a generator to power the entire unit. Agility also prepared two additional mobile units in Edmonton to await deployment to Slave Lake when people were allowed back into the town.
Regaining continuity in the mobile recovery units was critical to helping the community. Employees could work and earn a paycheck while being displaced, and residents could file claims, start their rebuilding process, and receive living expenses from their insurance provider. Because they knew Agility would get them operational again, the management focused on the wellness of their employees and their families.