The Current

'Don't give up': Lessons for Fort McMurray's long road ahead to rebuilding

In the wake of devastation, it's only human to vow to rebuild. But how to rebuild once the flames in Fort McMurray are gone is a complicated question. The Current asks what can be learned from other cities that rebuild after disaster strikes.
There are important lessons to learn from other cities that have had to rebuild after a disaster, from insurance to the threat of future disasters. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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The number of homes and businesses destroyed in Fort McMurray are into the thousands. The cost of the damage — astronomical. And the cost of rebuilding, too early to even imagine.

The cost to insurers is an estimated $9 billion, according to a Bank of Montreal analyst. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

In the wake of devastation, it's only human to vow to rebuild. But how to rebuild once the flames in Fort McMurray are gone is a complicated question for any community recovering from disaster — whether it's a fire, flood, tornado or earthquake. 

The Current looks at how other cities rebuilt after a disaster and what to to expect down the long reconstruction road ahead.

Guest in this segment:

  • Gerrard Miles, construction worker in Fort McMurray for the last three years. 
  • Tim Haney, associate professor of sociology and director at the Center for Community Disaster Research at Mount Royal University.
  • Cassidy Johnson, senior lecturer in urban development planning at University College London. She specializes in disaster risk mangement, recovery and reconstruction, and has conducted extensive research on reconstruction efforts in cities around the world.     

If you've been part of a community that's come back from a natural disaster, send us your story and your advice for the people of Fort McMurray.

Reach us by email. Find us on Facebook. Or tweet us @TheCurrentCBC.

This segment was produced by The Current's Pacinthe Mattar and Josh Bloch.

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