British Columbia

Want to help victims of B.C.'s floods? Province says check first before donating physical goods

The catastrophic rains and flooding that have forced thousands of British Columbians from their homes and stranded many more have left many wondering how they can help.

Some cities hosting evacuees have asked residents to reach out if they have shelter to offer

A person paddles a kayak past a submerged taxi cab after a major flood event in Abbotsford, B.C., Nov. 17, 2021. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

The catastrophic rains and flooding that have forced thousands of British Columbians from their homes and stranded many more have left many wondering how they can help.

Emergency Management B.C. says many communities and evacuation centres may not be set up to handle donations of physical goods during this crisis, and it's best to check ahead before giving.

"We know people in B.C. and across the country are concerned for those affected by the current weather-related events in our province and want to find a way to help communities recover," the provincial body said in an email.

"Unless a community has asked for specific goods, British Columbians who wish to help are asked to make a monetary donation to trusted organizations, such as the United Way, the Canadian Red Cross, and Food Banks B.C."

Heavy damage to B.C.'s highway system means some of the most pressing needs are in communities that have been cut off from the rest of the province, and those who live in those areas are in the best position to offer immediate needs like food and shelter.

Cities that are hosting evacuees and stranded travellers, including Hope, Abbotsford and Chilliwack, have asked local residents to reach out if they have shelter to offer.

Municipal officials have also requested that anyone with items to donate or time to spare should check first to see what's needed or if volunteers are required.

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