A partnership, and vault, to preserve memories of climate disaster

The Fraser Valley Current has partnered with the Climate Disaster Project to commemorate the anniversary of the flooding by telling first-hand accounts of last November's flood.

By Sean Holman

The floods that swept southern British Columbia last fall submerged thousands of acres of land, displaced 15,000 residents and caused $450 million in insured damages. Five people were killed, and 640,000 animals lost their lives. But what these statistics don’t account for is the many human stories of the lives affected by such disasters, whose frequency and severity will only increase as a result of climate change.

All these stories are important because they show us we aren’t alone in our experiences of climate change. And they teach us about the common problems that disaster survivors face and solutions so that we can better prepare for those events in the future.

That’s why the Fraser Valley Current has partnered with the Climate Disaster Project to commemorate the anniversary of the flooding by telling these stories. We’d like to invite you to be part of that project, sharing your story about the floods to make sure we learn from those experiences.

The Climate Disaster Project is a new initiative led by journalism teachers and students across Canada that works with people who have lived through climate disasters to share their experiences with the public.

We believe these stories, no matter how small, can encourage people to help those hard hit by climate change. We’re looking to share the stories of those impacted by the flooding last fall. If that sounds like you, we’d like to speak with you.

You’ll start by talking to an interviewer about what you’d like to say and what they’d like to ask. Then, together you’ll create a profile, in your own words, that tells your story. You’ll have control over what gets shared because this is your story, not ours.

These stories will also inform investigative and solutions journalism initiatives exploring ways to help climate disaster survivors.

As an example of the work being created, Shoshauna Routley, an Abbotsford-based Kombucha manufacturer, has shared her experience of climate disaster. Shoshauna’s 10 acre farm was devastated by last fall’s floods. You can read the profile she co-created with the Climate Disaster Project here.

These stories are tales of loss but also of resilience and hope. Each provides insights, solutions, or human connection. And sharing them can make a big difference.

If you’re interested in sharing your own story, please email [email protected].

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