Red Cross building communities back stronger after Alberta floods

Topics: National, Alberta, Emergencies and Disasters in Canada
June 03, 2014

One year later, nearly 70,000 people assisted

(Calgary, June 3, 2014) – The Canadian Red Cross is moving forward with plans to help build affected communities back stronger while also supporting hundreds of families still struggling to recover almost one year after the Alberta floods.

At a news conference held today in Calgary, John Byrne, director general of disaster management, outlined how Red Cross has responded to the disaster and the plans for recovery through to 2016.

“The Canadian Red Cross has assisted nearly 70,000 people affected by the Alberta floods last year for such basic needs as food, clothing and shelter,” said Byrne. “Recovery from a disaster of this magnitude is a long and difficult process and Red Cross remains committed to ensuring people and their communities can face the future with confidence.”

The Canadian Red Cross has four areas of focus for Alberta flood recovery efforts:

  1. Assistance to individuals and families
  2. Shelter and home clean-up, repair and rehabilitation
  3. Community initiatives
  4. Community resiliency and disaster preparedness

Of the $42 million raised for Alberta flood relief, Red Cross has spent $27.5 million, which represents more than 65 per cent of the total to date. All funds raised are held in a separate trust account and used to assist those affected by the floods.

“Thanks to the support of our generous donors, Red Cross is moving ahead with a range of initiatives to help build communities back stronger,” said Byrne.

In the months to come, Red Cross funding will help to repair and rebuild the homes of hundreds of families still living in temporary housing, trailers, hotels or with family and friends. Red Cross is also providing financial support for shelter initiatives such as Calgary’s Flood Permit Grant program, the Medicine Hat Sanitary Sewer Isolation Valve program, and furniture and appliances for temporary and repaired First Nations’ homes.

Red Cross community grants are strengthening or repairing local services such as food banks, youth and seniors’ programs, sport and recreational activities and community centres. Red Cross grants will be available to struggling small business owners affected by the floods and First Nations artisans restoring damaged cultural regalia which are essential to community ceremonial practices. Red Cross funding will also be focused on community resiliency and disaster preparedness projects to ensure people are better able to face any future disaster.

While the total number of people requesting help is slowly decreasing, new people continue to come forward with a range of unique needs, which is typical following a disaster of this magnitude. Red Cross encourages anyone who is still struggling to phone its toll-free assistance line at 1-866-696-6484. All calls are confidential.

More detailed information on Red Cross recovery efforts can be found in the Alberta Floods One Year Progress Report available on the Canadian Red Cross website.