Nova Scotia

How to access Fiona storm aid in Nova Scotia

Various organizations and government agencies are kicking their relief efforts into high gear in the aftermath of post-tropical storm Fiona.

Residents can check with municipalities for up-to-date information on services

Fallen trees lean against a house in Sydney, N.S., on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. The Nova Scotia government is offering financial assistance for people who've had to pay for tree and debris removal from their property. (Vaughan Merchant/The Canadian Press)

As Nova Scotia continues to come to terms with the damage caused by post-tropical storm Fiona, various organizations and levels of government are offering resources to assist people who need help.

Financial aid

The province announced Monday that people affected by Fiona can apply for financial aid effective immediately.

The province estimates the program will cost at least $40 million.

It said the program was designed to cover uninsured losses caused by flood damage and damage to household appliances. According to the release, the program covers up to $200,000 per household, small business and not-for-profit organization.

Applications can be completed through a dedicated web portal, at Access Nova Scotia, MLA  and municipal offices as well as local libraries. Paper applications will be available at MLA offices soon.

Nova Scotia residents should continue to assess damage and document it with pictures and video, keep receipts, and work with insurance companies, the province said.

Premier Tim Houston said the financial cost of the storm will be "significant." We hear from John Lohr, Nova Scotia's minister responsible for emergency management, about what financial and military relief will be available to help residents recover from Fiona.

Other provincial aid

Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Premier Tim Houston announced a number of new financial supports including a one-time grant of $100 to cover the cost of spoiled food for households that lost power for more than 48 hours. 

The province would also be making $250 available for any person who has to pay for tree and debris removal from their property, he said.

Additionally, Houston said people receiving a seniors care grant will receive an extra $250 to pay for storm repairs.

Houston said everyone currently receiving income assistance, including disability support program participants, will receive $150. Those people can still apply for other types of support.

Anyone with questions about supports can call a toll-free information line at 1-888-428-2256. The line is open Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. AT, and the weekends of Oct. 1-2 and Oct. 8-9 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. AT. It will not be open on Friday, Sept. 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Grants for small businesses

On Thursday, the province announced a one-time grant of up to $2,500 will be made available to small businesses to help cover the cost of unexpected closures.

In order to be eligible, businesses must have stopped operating due to the impacts of Fiona for at least five days between Friday, Sept. 23 and Friday, Oct. 7, when they would have been open otherwise.

A news release from the province said more details about the grant and how to apply for it will be available soon.

Fiona insurance claims: What to consider and how to start the process

9 months ago
Duration 8:30
Amanda Dean, vice-president of the Insurance Bureau of Canada's Atlantic region, says Atlantic Canadians who own property damaged by post-tropical storm Fiona should call their insurer immediately and begin documenting what they intend to claim.

Register with Red Cross

The Canadian Red Cross is asking people who have been affected by the storm to register with them by phone (1-800-863-6582 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. AT) or online.

The organization said on Twitter that registering helps them contact people who are away from home and enables them to provide assistance as it becomes available.

Assistance would include $1,000 per household, promised by the premier on Monday, for people ordered from their homes who cannot return.

Finding community resources

The community resource agency 211 Nova Scotia said its navigators are available to help people find food, safe shelter and other supports available in their community. It said on Twitter that support was available by calling 211 or online

Meanwhile, Nova Scotia's Emergency Management Office said people who require home oxygen maintenance unrelated to medical issues should call 211 and not 911 for assistance.

Halifax Regional Municipality residents experiencing experiencing food insecurity or other challenges are encouraged to contact 311 for support. 

Comfort centres

Municipalities across Nova Scotia have set up comfort centres to support residents in the wake of the storm.

There will be meals, charging capability and washrooms at several locations across the province.

In North Preston, Ian David, manager for programs and engagement with the HRM Public Safety Office, said about 150 people visited the North Preston Community Centre on Monday. 

He said people came to charge their electronic devices, get something to eat and have a shower. 

Others visited just to help out other members of the community, he said.

"This morning we had a few teachers from Nelson Whynder [Elementary] School, they showed up and they were helping some of the kids with schoolwork," David told Kyah Sparks of CBC Radio's Information Morning Nova Scotia.

"They said if they have to come back tomorrow they're going to bring more supplies to help out with the kids."

Here's a list of the centres by county. The province says residents should check with their municipalities to get up-to-date information on services in their communities.

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