British Columbia

Additional funding available for British Columbians affected by floods

Those who were forced to evacuate their homes last week due to flooding can now receive $2,000 from the Red Cross — that's in addition to existing funding from Emergency Support Services and the Disaster Financial Assistance programs.

Evacuated households could receive up to $2,000 from Red Cross

People load sandbags to try to stop the rising floodwaters in Barrowtown near Abbotsford, B.C., Friday, Nov. 19, 2021. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

British Columbians who were ordered to evacuate their homes from Nov. 14 to 16 due to flooding will receive additional financial support from the Red Cross, according to the province. 

Eligible households will receive $2,000. To access that money, evacuees must register with the Red Cross by calling 1-800-863-6582. 

This is in addition to the Disaster Financial Assistance funding announced last week, which was made available for homeowners, residential tenants, small business owners, farmers and charitable organizations whose insurance doesn't cover disaster-related losses.

The province says accessing this new funding will not impact eligibility for supports provided through the Emergency Support Services (ESS) program. 

More than 6,500 evacuees have been registered with ESS. 

Student emergency funding and Indigenous emergency funding are also both available for students impacted by flooding through the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology and the University of the Fraser Valley.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said Tuesday that money is intended to take pressure off students, and it is not a loan that needs to be paid back, but instead should help students pay for living expenses, travel and food.

"We've been tested by disaster after disaster in recent years," Farnworth said. "Each time, we have risen to the challenge by working together, by helping each other."

He recommended those looking to support British Columbians affected by flooding make a financial donation to the United Way or the Red Cross. 

"We're a resilient province, that is clear," Farnworth said.

"We're strong, compassionate and resolute, and above all we help each other in good times and in bad times."

With files from Cali McTavish and Meera Bains