An update on the work of the Red Cross in Lac-Mégantic two months after the tragedy

Topics: Quebec, Emergencies and Disasters in Canada
September 10, 2013

Lac-Mégantic, September 10, 2013 – Two months after the tragedy that disrupted the lives of the Lac-Mégantic community, the Red Cross continues its work to provide those affected by the disaster with the necessary support and material help needed to overcome such difficult events.

"To date, over 2,400 people have received assistance, some of which will continue to receive assistance for weeks or even months," explains Michel Léveillé, director general of the Red Cross in Quebec. “We invite those who require assistance to meet with us as new needs arise."

Thanks to the generosity of individuals and of the business community, $12 million was raised. Administrative costs for the Lac-Mégantic Support fund will not exceed 5 per cent, which means that for every dollar donated, at least 95 cents will go directly to help those affected by the disaster.

Distribution of assistance

Assistance is distributed based on Red Cross standards. Those affected go to Red Cross service centres and meet with volunteers who assess their needs and provide them with vouchers or purchasing cards. Close to 14,000 vouchers have been distributed, in addition to over 6,000 Lac-Mégantic cards currently being distributed. The cards are redeemable in local businesses to help the local economy. Also, the Red Cross can cover the cost of eligible invoices in accordance with its assistance program.

“It is a major operation in which over 500 volunteers took part. Each week, we train 5–10 new volunteers, mostly people from the region who want to contribute," adds Léveillé.

About the Red Cross in Quebec

The Red Cross is active before, during and after a disaster in response to the needs of those affected. In Quebec, as it does everywhere else, the Red Cross develops prevention programs, helps communities to prepare for emergencies, and provides humanitarian and material support to those who have lost everything as the result of a disaster. The Red Cross supports local authorities and the Government of Quebec as required. It is their primary partner in providing services to those affected by disasters.

Read Lac-Mégantic, two months after the tragedy