Red Cross announces updates to the Lac Megantic assistance program

Topics: Quebec, Emergencies and Disasters in Canada
August 22, 2013

Lac-Mégantic, August 22, 2013 – Thanks to donors’ generosity, the Red Cross is doing even more for people affected by the tragedy in Lac-Mégantic. At a meeting with the advisory committee held August 21, the Red Cross announced an update of its Assistance Program as a result of the fundraising total that now stands at $11 million. Consultations in recent weeks with committee members and various other groups have made it possible to adapt the program to match the needs of the affected people.

Update of the Assistance Program 

The Red Cross Assistance Program will be allocating $8 million (72%) of its short-term assistance in 2013 and 2014. Subsequently, more than $3 million (28%, or the balance of the sum collected) will be allocated to long-term assistance in 2014 and the years to follow.

The following are examples of adjustments in the program based on people’s needs, and the sums collected:

  • Assistance will be available for owners and tenants in the affected zones who have had to leave or move because of persistent odours, high noise levels or the effects of post-traumatic shock.
  • The maximum assistance for owners of homes that have been destroyed has been revised to $20,000.
  • Assistance for the self-employed and owners of small and medium-sized enterprises is now available throughout the Du Granit RCM, for all those who have suffered loss of business related to the disaster (if their turnover is below $250,000, and after an analysis of their business accounts).
  • Assistance for students and school staff has been increased to $400,000 to identify difficulties faced by young people as a result of the impact of the disaster, and to establish the activities and programs they need to recover. 

Red Cross volunteer teams continue to meet with families affected by the disaster: grieving families, evacuees and those who still cannot go home, and those who have lost their livelihood. Needs are assessed at individual interviews. Assistance is provided in the form of debit cards or vouchers, or upon submission of invoices, a procedure that enables the Red Cross to be accountable to its donors.

Administrative costs of fundraising for the Lac-Mégantic Support Fund will not exceed 5%, which means that for every dollar donated, at least 95 cents will go directly to help those affected by the disaster.

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.

The complete updated program is available here.