Red Cross update: Alberta fires, one year on

A man loads clean-up supplies in a truck after re-entering Fort McMurrayNearly one year ago, a devastating wildfire forced the evacuation of Fort McMurray and surrounding communities. News of the disaster and evacuation made headlines across the country and around the world. And now, thanks to the generosity of Canadians, the Red Cross continues to support those recovering from the fires.

Every disaster, no matter where in the world it occurs, is unique and complex. It takes time for things to feel like they’ve “returned to normal” (or a new normal), and many of those impacted by these fires are still in the process of recovering and rebuilding. 

So how have your donations helped the Red Cross to support this community in the past year?

Thanks to the generosity of Canadians and the matching funds from the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta, a total of $323 million was raised to help those affected by the fires. To date, $244 million of these funds have been spent or committed. This means that 75% of the funds raised have been used.

How was it spent?

$183 million has been used supporting families and individuals with help such as immediate shelter and supplies in the hours and days following the evacuation; direct financial assistance during the evacuation and after returning, to cover costs like transportation, replacement of household goods, urgent needs, mortgages, rent and utilities. Funds also helped provide emotional support to address the traumatic reality of the disaster, as well as projects to support and enhance rebuilding a resilient community.

Another area the Red Cross provided support was to community groups. Organizations, projects and groups like the Wood Buffalo Food Bank, McMurray Métis, and SOS for Crisis Prevention received grants from the Red Cross ,which meant they could use their expertise to help address the unique needs of the community as it recovers.
The Red Cross also offered grants to eligible small businesses. This support helped to cover costs associated to the fire such as clean-up expenses and replacement of essential items, as well as costs like utility bills, and lease payments
The evacuation was nearly a year ago, but the recovery is ongoing. The Red Cross is committed to being there, and continue to working closely with the local community, government, organizations, and indigenous leaders to make sure we are working effectively and efficiently.

Learn more about how funds have been used, how remaining funds will be allocated and more in our one-year donor report.

Join us on Facebook Live today at  12:45pm MT for a Q&A about our one-year report.
comments powered by Disqus