Red Cross Helping In Peace as well as Fort McMurray
Prince George, B.C.- While Red Cross is already working hard to assist those displaced by the Fort McMurray area of Alberta and is actively involved in assisting residents in the Peace Region of BC who have been impacted by the numerous fires in that part of BC.
“We are already assisting one person in the Peace who lost their home” says Jesse Bowan, , Community Planning and Response Co-Ordinator for the Red Cross BC and Yukon Branch. With 6 evacuation alerts in place in the Peace, Bowan says there are already Red Cross Volunteers working in that region and others are on standby ready to go should those alerts become evacuation orders.
As for the Fort McMurray disaster, the Federal and Alberta governments have each announced they will match every public dollar donated to the Red Cross Alberta disaster fund. Bowen says it’s too early to say how much money has been donated so far as calls and donations are coming in “fast and furious”.
Cash donations will go towards supporting those impacted by the fire says Bowen “right now, supports are in the way of the reception centres, the call centre we have up and running and supporting ESS and local authorities in their shelters.”
With more than 80 thousand Ft. McMurray residents displaced from their homes, many of the homes destroyed, the recovery for Ft.Mac residents will take a long time after the fire has been extinguished. “As the days move on, and weeks and months ahead, we will help people who lost their homes, those who didn’t have insurance, or are having gaps in the services they need and we help with everything from food and clothing to finding their lodging to settling into a new place. Sometimes we will help with things like first months rent, or if their home has been damaged and they don’t have the funds to make repairs we can sometimes help with that. But right now, it’s reconnecting families and loved ones, shelter, food water, blankets clothing.”
The number to call to check on the whereabouts of family or friends is 1-888-350-6070.
Cash donations are preferred says Bowen “When people donate goods, it’s really well intentioned, but it doesn’t always meet the needs of people looking for help.”
If you would like to make a donation to the Alberta disaster fund, there are several options:
Make a donation at any BC Liquor store ( $2 and $5 dollar increments)
Connect with the Red Cross at 1-888-418-1111.
Text REDCROSS to 30333 to donate $5 dollars, or text REDCROSS to 45678 to make a $10 dollar donation or connect with the Red Cross on the website
The road to recovery from such disasters is a long one says Bowen “Red Cross is there on the ground with them for months and sometimes years to come, that was the case with the Alberta floods and with Slave Lake, helping them get back on their feet and helping them get back to a new normal.”