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Canadian Red Cross providing $4 million to residents impacted by spring floods

By Celina Ip

The Red Cross is providing $4 million in direct financial assistance to households impacted by the flooding in Ontario and Quebec.

 

In the past few weeks, heavy rainfall has caused extensive flooding in several provinces across Canada, forcing thousands of people from their homes and communities.

After witnessing the extensive damage, the Canadian Red Cross kicked off their ‘Spring Floods Appeal’ campaign to gather generous support from Canadians in order to provide assistance to those affected by the flooding.

Within a couple of weeks, the Red Cross raised a staggering $7.4 million, and they’re hoping to raise more funds to continue their flood relief efforts.

“Thanks to the generosity of Canadians, partners and businesses, the Red Cross is able to provide direct financial assistance to flooded or evacuated families. In the weeks to come, the Red Cross will provide recovery assistance for the people most affected by this disaster, based on their needs,” said Canadian Red Cross President and CEO Conrad Sauve in a press release.

Of that amount, $4 million will be distributed to victims in Eastern Ontario and Quebec – $3 million for more than 5,200 households in Quebec and close to $1 million for approximately 1,600 households in Ontario.

Remaining funds will be distributed to flood victims in New Brunswick and British Columbia.

“Based on the heavy rainfall and flooding impact that we were seeing, we launched an appeal specific to this emergency and we were able to raise this amount through the generosity of Canadians,” said Ontario Canadian Red Cross Vice-President Tanya Elliott. “We'll continue to work alongside communities and with local officials to evaluate as we go forward which other areas may require assistance at this point. The impacts are significant in Ontario and Quebec and we want to provide assistance to the people who have been affected in those areas. Within Ontario alone, there have been 16 municipalities and one Fist Nation Community who have declared states of emergency and in Quebec the effects are widespread.”

According to Elliott, all households who register with the Canadian Red Cross for assistance and whose primary residence is verified within a recognized flood-impacted area are eligible, whether they evacuated or stayed in their homes.

Each eligible household will receive a total of $600 to help purchase supplies and fix damages.

“There are a lot of people who are going back into their homes right now. The flood waters are receding and they're starting to recognize some of the damage and we want to provide financial assistance to allow them to make their own decisions related to the most immediate needs that they have at this time. As we go forward we will continue to work closely with municipal officials in terms of the ongoing needs and start to look at more individualized approaches to assistance based on vulnerability,” said Elliott.

Following the registration and verification process, the eligible recipients will receive the funds within five to seven days through an electronic cash transfer.

“Anyone who feels that they’ve been impacted can contact the Red Cross to register and then that verification process will happen,” said Elliott. “But this is just intended to compliment existing financial assistance programs to provide some immediate assistance. People are encouraged to look at the other sources of assistance that are available to them, through provincial disaster assistance programs or checking with their insurance.”

Elliott stressed that flood-impacted households who have already registered with the Red Cross are required to re-register as additional information is required for this assistance. Households who have not yet registered with Red Cross are still eligible for assistance now and in the future upon registration.

Households can register for Canadian Red Cross assistance online at redcross.ca/gethelp or by calling toll-free at 1-800-863-6582.

Individuals and organizations can support the Red Cross’ ongoing efforts by donating to the Spring Floods Appeal through an online form that can be found at redcross.ca

cip@postmedia.com