Thunder Bay flood victims can likely start filing claims as early as this weekend.

People without insurance can apply for money to meet immediate needs and the committee hopes to have the first claim forms ready on Saturday.

Those claims would be for urgent needs such as getting hydro back.

Committee chair Wayne Fletcher said more detailed claim forms for total losses will be available later.

But Fletcher said the province has rules about what the disaster fund can cover.

"It's for what they call the 'necessities of life,’" he said. "So, if I can give counter examples, [there is] nothing for stereos and TVs. But if you need a washing machine or your furnace went out, then that's obviously a necessity of life."

Fletcher said that would also include renovations if walls had to ripped out and redone, for example.

Donations needed

But first, the committee needs to raise some money.  

"There is no pot here until we generate a pot," he said. "And then the government will add to the pot."

Fletcher said the province will contribute $2 for every dollar raised — so he's urging people to donate what they can.

Donations to the disaster relief fund can be made through the United Way or dropped off at city offices.

Members of the disaster relief committee will be at two public meetings this Saturday. One is at 1 p.m. at the Slovak Legion, and the other is at 4 p.m. at the Moose Hall. 

"We know that people are hurting," Fletcher said. "We're trying to do what we can."