Red Cross Looking Into Using Wildfire Recovery Funds To Help Those Impacted By Flood

The Canadian Red Cross is looking into the possibility of allocating wildfire recovery funds to those impacted by the flood.

Even though the Horse River wildfire was over four years ago, the organization still has money to give away that was donated to help the community.

Around $19 million of the $330 million was unspoken for at this time last year, however, the current total is unknown.

Jenn McManus, Vice President of the Canadian Red Cross for Alberta and Northwest Territories, tells Mix News they’re currently reviewing whether they can legally do this.

“We’re looking at what outstanding commitments we have and whether or not some of the remaining funds can be applied to situations whereby families or households have been impacted by both a flooding event and a wildfire event.”

These funds were specifically donated to help with the fire recovery, so the Red Cross is making sure they aren’t breaking the donor’s intent if they use the money to help those the flood affected.

McManus says they also have to take into account those who still receive support from the organization.

Around 200 families in the community continue to use the Red Cross after the wildfire.

“Some of those families, very sadly, have been impacted by the flooding event and they weren’t even in their homes, they were in an interim housing situation while they were still working on getting back into their pre-fire home.”

Meanwhile, the organization has had a tougher time of late receiving donations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

McManus says they’ve had to get creative to try and fund their response efforts.

“Households, individuals, corporations, the community sector, governments – we’re all facing financial constraints and impacts from this pandemic, so raising money is challenging right now.”

Despite this, they have been able to provide $600 to each household affected by the flood.

Residents need to register with the Red Cross by calling 1-800-863-6582 to receive this payment.

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