After the storm (Ottawa)

Around 4:15 on Friday afternoon most of us received an emergency alert on our phones, through the radio or over the television announcing the threat of a tornado.  This was the second emergency alert about a potential tornado in the Ottawa-Gatineau area that we had been subject to. Our first experience with the emergency alert would become known as a false alarm but just this past Friday it would save lives of many in the area.  

It is now confirmed that there were six tornadoes in the Ottawa-Gatineau, Pontiac area. Branching beyond these communities, most of the Ottawa-Gatineau region was without power for the entire weekend. To be quite frank I would never think a tornado could occur in this region.  And to be completely honest it looks nothing like the tornado in the Wizard of Oz and is not nearly as exciting as depicted in the film Twister especially when they begin tracking the tornado with their small tracking balls they launch into tornados.

But it’s easy to forget that natural disasters like these do occur and do hit communities hard.  It’s easy to think that events like these will never occur where I live, where I work or spend most of my time.  We are located in the central-east region of Canada and this past weekend’s events and damage to homes and families are comparable to the 1998 Ice storm.

But can there be an upside to natural disasters? Maybe that’s a loaded question. People gravitate towards each other whether it be for shelter, resources, counsel and/or friendship.  There is the common thread of us finding some light in a dark and gloomy situation. Now, when showing up to November Project, people show up for their own various reasons coming from varying backgrounds and circumstances.   Again, gravitating towards each other for a what feels like a not long enough 31 minutes. Yet, when we have mornings like today we can understand how this movement radiates and trickles into our own and others lives. Some of us may not have been directly affected, perhaps we lost power, but we certainly know someone more seriously affected, and some requiring support.  We asked each person who showed up this morning to bring a non-perishable item to the workout. Later on today all items will be delivered to the St-Vincent de Paul emergency centre to be given out to people in need. If you bought yourself, a can of soup or a box of cereal we thank you and appreciate your generosity. We thank you for giving back to your community.

Seeing as how you can never have too much generosity, be generous and talk the talk all about November Project, tell them all about your morning. We are challenging the tribe to recruit someone new to a workout and in honour of your mad recruiting skills you will be awarded an OFFICIAL NOVEMBER PROJECT OTTAWA PRIZE next week for PR day. Challenge someone to see what they’ve got, it’s race day, it’s game day, and if it’s someone’s first time running stairs ever, bring them out for their first PR.   

Here’s to bringing soles together,

Lauren and Liz


  1. Recruiting challenge: bring one new person to next weeks workout and receive an OFFICIAL NOVEMBER PROJECT OTTAWA PRIZE. Bring them to TD place 6:29am.
  2. Read a blog from another city
  3. Social next Thursday 7pm- stay posted for location details. It’s a social about social ideas in a social way. You’ll probably want to be there.
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