Western Canada Severe Weather (2010)

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


Severe weather in BC results in Red Cross disaster response activation

After a month of severe weather hitting the province of British Columbia and rapid levels of melting snow, many areas, including the Lower Mainland, continue to deal with the aftermath of rising rivers and localized flooding. The Canadian Red Cross has been working closely with municipalities’ and the province’s emergency program to assist affected residents.

Red Cross Response

On the Vancouver Island, Red Cross volunteers and staff attended the Municipal Emergency Operations Centre in the community of Sooke and supported four families with comfort kits, clean-up kits and blankets. As the situation on the island improves and activities throughout the island returning to normal, the Red Cross is now on stand-by.

The Red Cross response in the Lower Mainland has also been swift and is on-going since the onset of flooding on January 7. Of the areas affected, the Fraser Valley is the most severely impacted. A state of emergency was declared in Chilliwack on January 8, and the Lower Mainland Red Cross has since been working closely with the City and distributed 60 RONA-supplied clean-up kits to affected residents and has worked with the community to complete Client Needs Assessment interviews with those affected at the Resiliency Centre.

“The information collected will assist the local authorities, the Red Cross, and other agencies to work collaboratively to ensure those affected are receiving assistance required in a timely and organized fashion,” says Magdalena Blasiak, Manager of the Disaster Management of the Canadian Red Cross Lower Mainland Region.  “We are currently appealing for donations to support unmet needs that may not be covered under the province’s Disaster Financial Assistance.” 

How You Can Help

Canadians wishing to support the Red Cross severe weather response efforts are encouraged to contribute by calling 1-800-418-1111, 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.

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.