Nova Scotia

Disaster relief for Hurricane Dorian on the way, but details scant

The Nova Scotia government has asked the federal government for disaster relief money so that municipalities, organizations, small businesses and individuals hurt during Hurricane Dorian get some help with what are deemed "uninsured losses."

Nova Scotia estimates 'uninsured damages' could total $11M

Dorian tore a roof off a building on Queen Street in Halifax and it landed on several cars. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

The Nova Scotia government has asked the federal government for disaster relief money so that municipalities, organizations, small businesses and individuals hurt during Hurricane Dorian get some help with what are deemed "uninsured losses."

Chuck Porter, the minister responsible for the Emergency Management Office, said the program would be up and running by Jan. 8, but he couldn't say what would covered or what proof claimants would have to provide in their applications.

"We'll certainly have more specifics of that program and those details when we launch in January," said Porter.

"Once the program opens, and if you feel that you qualify based on the information that we put out, you'll be able to apply and go through the process of being assessed and qualify or not."

Dorian made landfall in Nova Scotia on Sept. 7 as a post-tropical storm with Category 2 hurricane-strength sustained winds.

Few details

The provincial government estimated that, all told, those who suffered damage as a result of the storm have shouldered roughly $11 million in uninsured losses.

That figure includes road washouts, culvert collapses and damage to other provincial infrastructure, but does not include the $2 million the province shelled out to secure and then remove a crane that collapsed on a downtown Halifax construction site.

Porter said the $11 million was not the maximum available under the yet-to-be-created program.

As for what proof individuals or organizations would have to provide for their claims, Porter was unable to say.

"I'm not sure of that yet. I haven't looked at the details of the program that's being developed and that's why it will be January before it's ready to come out in its final detail," said Porter. "But they will be made available."

According to the guidelines for the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements posted on Public Safety Canada's website, federal funds are provided in the case of a disaster in the following circumstances:

  • Providing or reinstating the necessities of life to individuals, including help to repair and restore damaged homes.
  • Re-establishing or maintaining the viability of small businesses and working farms.
  • Repairing, rebuilding and restoring public works and the essential community services.
  • Funding limited mitigation measures to reduce the future vulnerability of repaired or replaced infrastructure.

According to those guidelines, items eligible for reimbursement include:

  • Out-of-pocket costs for measures taken based on orders from the proper authorities.
  • Incremental costs for shelter and feeding of  livestock from eligible farms.
  • Compensation at minimum wage for property cleanup by owners or occupants.
  • Costs of restoration, repair or replacement of furnishings, appliances and clothing of an essential nature to individuals and families. 
  • Repair or replacement costs for lawn mowers, snow blowers and household personal computers.
  • Meal and accommodation expenses incurred in the immediate disaster/evacuation period.

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