On Friday morning my husband and I set out to head to my home town for a visit. This was the first time I’ve been home in a month and a half, and I was looking forward to it. I don’t know if you’ve been following east coast weather recently, but we’ve been battered with storm after storm resulting in five feet or more of snow in most places, and the last thing my husband and I wanted was to be caught in a storm, so we timed our travel to coincide with sunny days.
It was dark but clear when we set out on our three hour drive, and I planned on being home by 9am, in time to put in a day at my local office. Unfortunately this whole plan got derailed when high winds picked up and the highway between Halifax and home was closed because of poor visibility. We pulled off at the last exit before the closure to get some coffee and wait out the storm.
We were there for about an hour and during that time we debated our options. We could turn around and try to head back to Halifax, wasting our whole morning on a trip for naught. We could wait it out and see if they re-opened the highway. This might’ve meant getting storm stayed overnight in a hotel, something neither of us were particularly inclined to do.
In the end they opened the highway for about 20 minutes before closing it again, and in that time we managed to convoy with about 100 other cars across the windy Marsh, only able to see about 5 feet in front of us due to blowing snow:
We made it to our hometown, but what should have been a three hour drive ended up taking upwards of five hours. I’m really happy that we didn’t have to stay in a hotel that night, but this whole experience reminds me that travelling in Atlantic Canada in the winter is becoming increasingly dicey due to the extreme weather events we’ve been experiencing regularly, and in the future we’re going to have to give that more weight.
One thing that we didn’t worry about during this whole ordeal was money. When we were buying extra food and coffee while we were off the road, and when we were contemplating getting a hotel room for the night, how we were going to afford it never entered our minds. This is because we have a large emergency fund, and the situation at hand would’ve definitely qualified as an emergency.
The Importance of Emergency Funds Around Extreme Weather Caused by Climate Change
While the story above had a happy ending, I have no doubt that this is going to be an issue in the future. Here on the east coast, we’ve been under constant fire this winter by incredibly powerful snow storms. I know the severity of these storms is influenced by climate change, and I have no doubt that these “freak” weather events are going to become the norm soon enough. This means we’ll be faced with more emergencies like this (or hurricanes and tropical storms in the summer) which means a well stocked emergency fund will be all the more important.
Emergency funds are important, but they’re even more important in areas of the world that are being affected by climate change. Whether it’s severe storms, flooding (like in Toronto and Calgary) or drought (like California), climate change is shaping our world, and we’d best be prepared for that!
Have you had a climate related emergency yet? I want to know!