The Government of New Brunswick has launched a Disaster Financial Assistance program to help individuals, small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and municipalities who suffered property damage following Hurricane Dorian on September 7-8, 2019.
“This has been a difficult year for the province in terms of extreme, damaging weather,” said Public Safety Minister Carl Urquhart. “But we are pleased that we can once again help New Brunswickers get back on their feet.”
Wind gusts in excess of 100 km/h were reported. Downed trees caused power outages throughout much of the province. Power outages peaked with more than 80,000 clients affected on September 7. Damage was reported in 24 municipalities.
The program provides assistance for eligible damage and losses that threaten the health and safety of individuals, municipalities, and small businesses. The maximum assistance for structural repairs to private residences is $160,000, while the maximum for small businesses and not-for-profit organizations is $500,000.
The program is not a replacement for insurance. It will assist in covering only the basic costs of essential items.
How to apply
Residents who experienced damage as a result of Hurricane Dorian on September 7 or 8 are asked to register their damages online or by calling 1-888-298-8555. Once they register, a Disaster Financial Assistance package will be mailed to them. Application packages are available online but residents must still register. More information on the program is available online.
The deadline for homeowners, small businesses, and not-for-profit organizations to submit an application is February 26, 2020. They can call 1-888-553-8558 if they have questions.
Residents and small businesses that are eligible to receive assistance are subject to paying a deductible. For individual homeowners the deductible is $1,000 and for small businesses the deductible is $5,000. The deductible is automatically waived for social services clients. Requests for waiver may also be considered from those who are experiencing severe financial hardship.
Residents should contact their insurance company first
Residents are asked to contact their insurance company first to determine if the damage is already covered. They may have coverage for some of the losses and an insurer can act on the claim right away. If the damage is not covered under an insurance policy, residents should contact the recovery team at the Department of Public Safety’s Emergency Measures Organization so the eligibility can be assessed.
In case of issues with the insurer, residents may call the Office of the Consumer Advocate for Insurance at 1-888-283-5111.
As with any Disaster Financial Assistance program, the provincial government will request a cost-share program with the federal government. The Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangement is a cost-shared agreement among the federal, provincial, and territorial governments to help cover response and recovery expenses following a disaster. The federal government will then reimburse eligible expenditures.