The fires may soon cover an area the size of Luxembourg and now are heading towards Suncor and Syncrude plants. This would be devastating to the Canadian economy, joblessness, and cut almost 1,000,000 barrels a day out of the world oil supply. This is all about to get even more real and far reaching.
Even during this time where so many need our assistance, we can’t help but begin to extrapolate the impact on the coming months. After the initial outpouring of help, what could be next for those whose livelihood is tied into the plants in Fort McMurray. Whether they were working the plants or at one of the many small business that support the families and workers.
You can already start to see that many will have considered themselves themselves temporary, so they rented in the city. And, of course, like the majority of renters, they did not have insurance for their worldly possessions. Now they're out of a job (one they kept DESPITE their fear with the downturn in oil prices) and without anything but whatever they threw into their car.
Unfortunately, many of these small businesses will struggle to survive in the coming year. On the other side of the equation, this will also provide a different job boom in Fort McMurray. One of clean-up and re-build… funded by government and insurance companies.
If previous disasters are any indication, this will take time to get started and take a lot of time to complete. City officials will be overwhelmed with building permits and inspections of current structures for safety. Insurance companies will be overwhelmed with calls to inspect and get claims approved. Construction firms will be scrambling to keep projects going and, if the fire does major damage to the major oilsands plants, the number of construction workers required there could strain the available workforce, thus further delaying the rebuild of the housing stock.
Yes, it is very early days, but we do need a realistic outlook on what’s next, as the fire rages on.
Key take-aways: Start your insurance claim as soon as you can, keep all your receipts for the time you have been evacuated, be prepared for some very poor economic statistics to start showing up in the headlines (including government deficit growth, very low GDP, a BIG jump in joblessness, etc.). We’ve only just begun.
For more information, check out this article.