Western Canada Severe Weather (2009)

Note: The following appeal is now closed.  You can support our ongoing work by donating to the Canadian Red Cross


After a summer of flooding, forest fires and tornadoes across western Canada, severe weather continues to wreak havoc into the fall with significant flooding in British Columbia’s coastal communities. Hundreds of people have been affected by the flooding, which has damaged property and infrastructure, forcing people from their homes and stranding travelers. Port Hardy on the north east coast of Vancouver Island has been particularly hard hit, as have the mainland coastal communities of Kingcome Inlet and Bella Coola.

The Canadian Red Cross B.C. Floods Response has been swift. In Port Hardy, the Canadian Red Cross has distributed cots, blankets and hygiene kits to displaced residents and is providing more than 100 RONA clean-up kits to help flood-affected residents begin mopping up. Additional supplies have been pre-positioned to assist more remote communities. Working with local authorities, the Canadian Red Cross will continue to provide immediate and longer-term assistance to affected individuals as they recover from this disruption to their lives.

How you can help

Canadians wishing to support the Canadian Red Cross severe weather response efforts are encouraged to contribute by calling 1-800-418-1111, donating through redcross.ca, or contacting their local Red Cross office. Cheques should be made payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked “Western Canada Severe Weather” and mailed to the Canadian Red Cross National Office, 170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2P2.

While the Canadian Red Cross is currently responding to the British Columbia floods, work to help severe weather-affected communities across western Canada continues. Donors may designate their funds to British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba. Donations will continue to support immediate needs like clean-up kits and food, as well as longer-term assistance such as helping the hardest hit families with recovery planning as they rebuild their lives.


Red Cross assists evacuated travelers and opens Resilience Centre in Bella Coola

In-kind donations of food, clothing and other items, while well intentioned, are not the best way to help those in need. There are tremendous processing and transportation costs involved in shipping these items to beneficiaries. Local purchases of food and clothing are more culturally appropriate and effective. Red Cross supplies can be purchased in the immediate area, thereby reducing transportation costs. Cash transfers to the affected region provide the optimum flexibility to our Red Cross colleagues so they can meet the most urgent needs.