Response plan to be divided into 3 phases

The director general of disaster management for the Canadian Red Cross said that the Alberta flood is “by far the largest geographical natural disaster” that the agency has responded to in its history.

With flood-earmarked donations to the agency topping $25.3-million towards the end of July, John Byrne outlined how the Red Cross has been spending the funds. He also laid out the agency’s intention to provide long-term support for flood victims.

The Red Cross has divided its response into three phases: relief, transition and recovery.

The initial relief phase used roughly 20 per cent of funds — about $3 million cash and $2.5 million worth of donated items, such as cleaning kits, bottled water and flights to bring in volunteers from outside Alberta.

The current phase of the agency’s response — transition and early recovery — will see 35 per cent of the funds, or $6.5 million, spent on assisting with short term needs such as food, clothing, childcare, transportation, employment support and psychological referrals.

The third phase, recovery, will see the remaining 45 per cent of the funds — currently just under $13 million — provide ongoing support those who Byrne said are “the most vulnerable” with things like rent, food, clothing and other longer-term needs.

“Case workers will give out the money based on need, not loss,” he said.
Byrne says that up to five per cent of donations are used to cover administrative costs.

The Canadian Red Cross is offering personal and confidential needs assessments to Albertans who require assistance due to the flooding at 1-866-696-6484.

ktaylor@cjournal.ca