As flood waters recede throughout the province, and with another wildfire season on the horizon, the Province of British Columbia and the Canadian Red Cross have announced a new initiative designed to help people and families affected by disaster better transition into long-term disaster recovery.
“Catastrophic events like floods and fires are happening more frequently, often coming earlier in the season, and affecting the lives of more people in B.C.,” said Premier John Horgan. “Our government is working with public-safety partners, First Nations, and local governments to adapt to a rapidly changing climate and to provide British Columbians with the services they need to get through difficult times.”
The Recovery Transition Program is a partnership with the Red Cross, which will provide support and financial assistance to people who cannot return to their homes.
“Throughout last year’s wildfires and floods, and during this year’s spring floods, the Canadian Red Cross stepped up to support our government and British Columbians in times of need,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness. “In a catastrophic emergency, the Red Cross’s experience, systems, and technology will support our local government-managed emergency social services, to reach people as quickly as possible.”
The new Recovery Transition Program is the first program of its kind offered in B.C. and was jointly developed by Emergency Management BC (EMBC) and the Canadian Red Cross. The program is in its early stages. EMBC and the Red Cross will work with local governments to implement it as quickly as possible.
“We can’t overstate the impact on communities and families during times of disaster,” said Kimberley Nemrava, Canadian Red Cross vice-president for British Columbia and Yukon. “With the support of generous British Columbians, and in close collaboration with the government, we are pleased to be able to provide this assistance.”
British Columbia operates generous emergency social services programs, providing people with immediate emergency supports. Supports can include short-term shelter, food, and clothing. Those affected by an emergency typically receive emergency social services support for up to 72 hours. The province has been extending this timeline to meet the needs of those impacted by the flooding in Grand Forks.
The Recovery Transition Program will commence when emergency social services concludes and provide assistance for up to 90 days to households that are primary residences and have been determined to be uninhabitable by the local government.