Montreal, July 8 – Since Saturday, July 6, the Red Cross has been mobilizing teams of volunteers and deploying emergency equipment in Lac-Mégantic in support of the municipality and public authorities as they assist evacuees in the wake of the huge fire following a train derailment.
To support the team in Lac-Mégantic, volunteers from the Beauce region, Sherbrooke, Coaticook, Montreal, Quebec City and Saguenay are on site. A Red Cross mobile rapid response unit with essential emergency equipment – more than 700 cots with blankets, pillows and hygiene kits – was immediately dispatched to the site.
A reception centre and shelter have been set up in the Montignac secondary school in Lac-Mégantic. Volunteers are on hand to assist evacuees, registering them, taking care of immediate needs and offering comfort in these difficult times.
A fundraising call centre
A call centre was set up yesterday in the Red Cross offices in Montreal to help raise funds for those affected by the tragedy. The funds donated will be used to meet the essential needs of those concerned. These can include accommodation, meals, clothing, baby supplies and personal services. An assistance program will also be set up to address the requirements for longer-term recovery.
Individuals and businesses wishing to donate can call 1-800-418-1111, visit the website at www.redcross.ca/
or text REDCROSSQC to 30333 in order to make a $5 donation. The Red Cross has so far received donations totalling $800,000.
Beginning Tuesday, Desjardins credit unions and all Canadian bank branches will be accepting donations.
Community fundraising efforts
Those wishing to organize community fundraising on behalf of the Red Cross are invited to contact us at WeCare@redcross.ca. A third-party agreement will be prepared for signature.
Reminder concerning offers to volunteer
However well intended, spontaneous applications to volunteer for this response are not being accepted for the time being. All Red Cross volunteers have to take emergency response training before being deployed in the field. Those interested in being part of the largest humanitarian organization in the world will find the information they need at www.redcross.ca/volunteer/volunteer-with-us
About the Canadian Red Cross
The Red Cross is the primary partner for public authorities in providing services to those affected by the disaster in Lac-Mégantic, and Red Cross teams will remain on site as long as they are needed. In Quebec, the Red Cross has a network of almost 1500 volunteers trained and ready to respond to emergencies of this kind.