People whose homes or businesses were damaged by the floods in Fort McMurray will soon be able to apply for financial assistance as they repair or rebuild.

As part of the $1-billion promised last week by the province to help flood victims across Alberta, the Wood Buffalo Disaster Recovery Program is now available to help those whose property was damaged by flooding between June 10 and June 17 in the Fort McMurray area.

"Obviously, there was an unprecedented amount of damage down south, but Fort McMurray residents also had flooding up there earlier in June ... and we wanted them to know they are still a priority," said Tim Wilson with municipal affairs.

Wilson said the Wood Buffalo Recovery Program will help speed up the recovery process by temporarily skipping much of the red tape typically associated with damage claims.

"The normal process is that the municipality would apply for assistance on behalf of the resident, but because of the amount of damage that’s occurred across the province, we removed that requirement and put the program in place."

Beginning July 2, residents with damaged property will be able to pick up an application for assistance from the municipal office in Fort McMurray.

On-site damage assessments will then take place after the application forms have been submitted.

In the meantime, Wilson said home and business owners can start with the recovery process.

"If you can start repairs, start them. If you can start cleaning up, start the cleaning up — but just keep track of what you do, how long you spend doing it, and work your way through that application."

However, Wilson does still advise residents to be in touch with their insurance company and be sure to document any uninsurable damage to their property.

Because damage assessments have not yet been completed in the area, the total cost of flood damage is not yet known, said Wilson.