Okay, REIN community, it's time to shine and support your fellow members (and the general community) who are currently experiencing a real life disaster zone in Fort McMurray and the surrounding areas.
*UPDATE: 11:00AM May 26, 2016 - the Insurance Bureau of Canada answered questions from journalists to clear up "misconceptions" about insurance in the Fort McMurray fire aftermath. Read the full interview here.
*UPDATE: 4:00PM May 9, 2016 - below is a list of lender's phone numbers for victims of the fires. Thanks to Peter Kinch for compiling this list.
*UPDATE: 10:00AM May 9, 2016 - below is an updated list of contact information for reception centres, information and updates, emergency fuel stations, food, shelter, showers, insurance and financial assistance, education/childcare, pets, stress, medical, business, storage, entertainment, vehicles, spas, and other information for anyone affected by the fires. Thanks to James Knull for compiling this list.
All evacuees should register with the Red Cross by calling 1-888-350-6070 or in person at a reception centre, including:
- Lac La Biche: Lac La Biche Bold Centre at 8702 91 Ave.
- Edmonton: Edmonton Expo Centre, 7515 118 Ave.
- St. Paul: Centennial Recreation Centre, 4802 53 Ave.
- Janvier: Moose Haven Lodge, 1 Janvier, located in the Chipewyan Prairie Commercial Park on the west side of Highway 881 at Kilometre 217.
- Grassland: Grassland Community Hall, Main Street
- Drayton Valley: Omniplex, 5737 45 Ave.
- Smokey Lake: Smokey Lake Arena, 4612 54 Ave.
- Calgary: University of Calgary Reception - Dining Centre, 124 University Gate NW.
- Fort Chipewyan: Athabasca Delta Community School, 172 McDonald St. For First Nation band members only.
- Calgary: SAIT Residence Tower, 151 Dr. Carpenter Circle NW, for Suncore employees and evacuees in camps.
Information and Updates:
- For updates call 780-310-4455, go to the Alberta Emergency Alert website at http://www.emergencyalert.alberta.ca or follow them on twitter @AB_EmergAlert
- Use the Pulse Wood Buffalo Call Line at 780-743-7000 or follow @RMWoodBuffalo on twitter for 24-hour information and updates from the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. A trained dispatcher will answer every call, and if they don't have specific information immediately available they will return requests within 48 hours. Long distance charges may apply.
- Evacuees seeking information and assistance can direct inquiries to the Alberta Red Cross at 1-888-350-6070.
- For information on road conditions and closures in Alberta, go to http://www.511.alberta.ca, call 511 or follow @511Alberta
Emergency Fuel Stations:
Emergency fuel stations offering gasoline and diesel have been set up in rest areas along Highway 63. Quantities are limited and drivers will only be given enough fuel to get to the nearest fuel centre. Emergency fuel station locations include:
- 60 kilometres south of Fort McMurray at Kilometre 186.
- 100 kilometres south of Fort McMurray at Mariana Lake, Kilometre 130.
- 165 kilometres south of Fort McMurray at Kilometre 85.
- 21 kilometres north of Fort McMurray on the southbound ramp of the Suncore Voyageur Interchange.
- Contact the Edmonton Food Bank at 780-425-4190 and identify yourself as a wildfire evacuee for help accessing food.
- Kinnikinnick Fresh at 10940 120 St. is offering gluten-free food and $50 vouchers to Fort McMurray evacuees with celiac disease.
- The Pint Public House Edmonton locations at 10125 109 St. and 8032 104 St. are offering a free meal for evacuees with Fort McMurray ID for the rest of the week. Choose any one item off the menu between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. or between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
- Block 1912 at 10361 82 Ave. is offering a free scoop of gelato and a coffee for Fort McMurray evacuees.
- Chianti Cafe & Restaurant at 10501 82 Ave. is offering a free half-size salad or soup, any one of their Pasta Creations and a non-alcoholic beverage for Fort McMurray residents with ID.
- O'Byrne's Irish Pub at 10616 82 Ave. is offering a free pint of beer and a meal for Fort McMurray evacuees who bring ID with their address.
- Naan-O-Licious at 10331 82 Ave. is offering free biryani for evacuees. Call ahead at 780-705-5570 to let them know how many portions you need.
- Earls Edmonton locations including 11830 Jasper Ave., 8629 112 St., 4250 Calgary Trail, 13330 50 St., 9961 170 St. and 1505 99 St. is offering any evacuees with a government issued ID with their Fort McMurray address a free sandwich and drink.
- Padmanadi Vegeterian Restaurant at 10740 101 St. is offering free lunch or dinner to evacuees.
- On The Rocks at 11740 Jasper Avenue is offering a free meal and a drink for evacuees with a Fort McMurray ID.
- Caffrey's In the Park in Sherwood Park at 99 Wye Road is offering a free meal for evacuees.
- Delux Burger Bar at 9682 142 St. and 14111 23 Ave. is offering evacuees a free burger and drink.
- Sandwich and Sons at 10184 104 St. and 13119 156 St. is offering a free sandwich for evacuees with a Fort McMurray ID.
- The Bhartiya Cultural Society of Alberta at 9507 39 Ave. is offering free vegetarian meals to evacuees.
- Moxie's Grill and Bar at 10628 Kingsway Avenue is offering a free entree and drink to evacuees with Fort McMurray ID.
- Mary Brown's locations at 11358 104 Ave. and 14969 Stony Plain Road are offering a free meal to Fort McMurray evacuees with ID.
- Wheat Garden Chinese Noodle and Dumpling Bazaar at 10703 103 St. is offering one noodle bowl or rice dish to evacuees with a valid Fort McMurray ID.
- LOVEPIZZA at 10196 109 St. is offering a free pizza for Fort McMurray evacuees until Sunday.
- Gurdwara Millwoods at 2606 Millwoods Road is offering free vegetarian meals for evacuees 24 hours a day.
- Celebrate Gluten Free Bakery & Cafe at 15213 Stony Plain Road is offering free breakfast or a sandwich for Fort McMurray evacuees who present ID.
- Quiznos at 5366 Windermere Boulevard is offering free lunch to evacuees between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. until May 18.
- Remedy Cafe is offering evacuees free wraps in all of their Edmonton locations at 10279 Jasper Avenue, 8631 109 St. and 10310 124 St.
- Fatburger is offering evacuees with Fort McMurray ID a free Fatburger with cheese and soda or a free kids meal at each of their locations in Edmonton, including Edmonton City Centre at 10205 101 St., 5611 23 Ave., South Edmonton Common 1755 102 St. and West Edmonton Mall 882 170 St. Locations in Fort Saskatchewan at 8631 94 St., Namao at 15987 97 St. and Red Deer at 161 Leva Ave. are also making the same offer.
- Fuss Cupcakes at 10441 82 Ave. and 17298 Stony Plain Road if offering evacuees a cupcake and coffee with a Fort McMurray ID.
- Noorish at 8440 109 St. is offering free gluten free, vegan and vegetarian meals for wildfire evacuees. They are also accepting donations towards their toy drive. For more information, call 780-756-6880.
- Al Rashid Mosque is opening their doors for evacuees in need of a place to stay at 13070 113 St. Please contact them at 780-451-6694 for information.
- Airbnb has activated their Disaster Response Tool, waiving all fees so those with residences available to evacuees can post their listing for free. Hosts offering their spaces through Airbnb will still have the protections guaranteed by the service for regular short-term vacation rentals.
- The Guru Nanak Sikh Society has compiled a list of dozens of spare bedrooms, basement suites and motel rooms available free of charge for Fort McMurray evacuees offered by members of their congregation. Those with room available or evacuees in need of a place to stay in Edmonton can call Arundeep Sandhu at 780-935-2786.
- The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is keeping a list of Edmonton area hotels offering a compassionate rate for evacuees. Go to http://www.rmwb.ca for details.
- Alberta Realtors are posting available housing on their Facebook page, "REALTORS Support Fort McMurray."
- All four YMCA locations in Edmonton are open to Wood Buffalo evacuees who can access drop-in facilities and showers, including the Don Wheaton YMCA at 10211 102 Ave., Jamie Platz YMA at 7121 178 St., Castle Downs YMCA at 11510 153 Ave. and the William Lutzky YMCA at 1975 111 St.
- The Fraser Community League at 14720 21 St. is offering itself as a well-stocked relief centre for evacuees entering Edmonton from the northeast. Fort McMurray evacuees are invited to stop in for food, supplies and first aid while community league members are opening up their homes for showers.
Insurance and financial assistance:
- The Government of Alberta is providing emergency financial assistance of $1,250 per adult and $500 per dependent to help cover expenses for wildfire evacuees. More details are expected on Wednesday.
- Those who left documents, such as ID cards or driver's licenses, behind in the evacuation can have new cards issued free of charge at any registry agent.
- Displaced residents should get in touch with their personal banking institutions for information on special accommodations and resources being made available for those evacuated.
- Evacuees should keep all receipts for food, accommodations and other evacuation related expenses for possible reimbursement.
- Those who have suffered property loss should first contact their insurance provider for advice and information. You may be entitled to living expenses.
- Those unable to contact their insurance provider can reach out to the Insurance Bureau of Canada's consumer information line at 1-844-227-5422 or by email at FortMacFire@ibc.ca
- Any evacuees in need of family and social support can contact Alberta Supports at 1-877-644-9992 for information on social benefit programs.Any evacuees in need of family and social support can contact Alberta Supports at 1-877-644-9992 for information on social benefit programs.
- Evacuees may be eligible for the Emergency Needs Allowance to help cover unaffordable short-term, unforeseeable emergency expenses. If you are not already an Income Support client, you can get more information at an Alberta Works Centre. Contact them by calling 1-866-644-5135 or go to www.humanservices.alberta.ca/ABWCentres
- Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) clients who have been receiving benefits by cheque who are now displaced by northern Alberta wildfires should contact the Athabasca AISH office at 780-675-6853.
- Those receiving Income Support benefits by cheque who have been evacuated from their homes should call the 24-hour Income Support Contact Centre at 1-866-644-5135 or email email@example.com
- Families or service providers needing assistance for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) who are receiving PDD support through the province should contact the PDD Program Branch at 780-427-1177 ext. 3 or call Disability Services at 780-415-2466.
- Edmonton's public schools are accommodating evacuee students from Fort McMurray. Families can attend the public school in the area where they are staying in person to register, or contact District Support Services at 780-429-8030 for more information. To find a public school in your area, go to www.epsb.ca and search for their Find a School tool.
- Edmonton's Catholic schools are also taking in evacuee students. Those interested in enrolling a student from Kindergarten through Grade 9 should call One World One Centre at 780-944-2001 for information, while high school students should call the Sacred Heart Centre at 780-944-2000.
- All Grade 6 and 9 Provincial Achievement Tests have been cancelled for students in the Fort McMurray Public School District, the Fort McMurray Roman Catholic School District, Anzac and Fort McKay schools within the Northland School Division and Ecole Boreal within Greater North Central Francophone Education Region (Conseil scolaire Centre-Nord). Any evacuated student who wants to complete their Provincial Achievement Test can do so in the school they have registered in.
- Children's Autism Services of Edmonton is offering respite care and supervised safe play space at the Maier Centre at 17451 103 Ave. for autistic children and children with other special needs while parents plan their next steps. Call 780-495-9235 and ask for Kelsey Penney.
- The Educational Daycare Group is offering up to 50 daycare spaces free for one month for evacuee parents in need of childcare with a valid Fort McMurray ID. They are also interested in hiring displaced early childhood educators to help staff their daycares on a temporary basis. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 780-224-4905 and ask for Toresa Mehra.
- The six Edmonton-area Campus Alberta post secondary institutions - including Concordia University, King's University, MacEwan University, the University of Alberta (for undergraduate and graduate students), the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and NorQuest College - are offering their full support to evacuee students having difficulty completing coursework or getting official marks and transcripts due to the Alberta wildfires. For more information, get in touch with the post-secondary institution's student services centres.
- If you have a pet missing or left behind in Fort McMurray, call 780-762-3636 and staff will register your information and provide assistance when possible. Long distance charges may apply.
- The Alberta SPCA is coordinating support for livestock, focusing on horses, and is assisting evacuees who bring livestock animals to the Edmonton Expo Centre at Northlands at 7515 118 Ave.
- The Edmonton Humane Society and Edmonton's Animal Care and Control Centre are coordinating animal care for people arriving in Edmonton with assistance from the Alberta Medical Association. Found animals without owners present can be turned over to the Edmonton Humane society. Contact them at 780-471-1774 or visit them at 13620 163 St.
- The Companion Animal Welfare Society can provide temporary care for pets including cats, dogs and small animals including reptiles. Contact them by phone at 1-888-460-4045 or email email@example.com
- Champion Pet Foods at 11403 186 St. is offering free cat and dog food for Fort McMurray evacuees.
- Pets are welcome to stay with their owners at the Edmonton Northlands Reception Centre at 7515 118 Ave.
- E&E Kennels is offering free boarding services for dogs, cats and small pets at their #12 Boulder Blvd location in Stony Plain. Contact them at 780-963-8173 for details.
- Large animal owners can contact the Alberta Equestrian Federation at 1-877-463-6233 for help.
- Cozy Kitty at 4610 97 St. is offering shelter for displaced cats. Contact them at 780-243-2679 for more details.
- The Alberta Animal Health Source has compiled a list of Alberta veterinary practices offering assistance to wildfire evacuees. For more information, go to www.albertaanimalhealthsource.ca
- If you are in distress, call the Distress Line 780-482-4357 within Edmonton, those outside can reach the Rural Distress Line at 1-800-232-7288.
- Boyle Street Community Services at 10116 105 Avenue and The Mustard Seed Society, with locations at 10635 96 St. and 10568 114 St., is offering counselling, clothing and hot meals to fire evacuees.
- For non emergency health advice, including information on healthcare options, contact Health Link by dialling 811.
- AHS has health care teams available at reception centres in Fort McKay, the Suncore Firebag Village, Lac La Biche, Noralta Lodge and Edmonton Northlands.
- If you have a prescription that needs to be filled and the means to pay, visit any community pharmacy to have your prescription looked up using Netcare.
- Evacuated breastfeeding mothers can access supports from the Canadian Lactation Consultant Association by calling 1-800-272-9756 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Services include breastfeeding tents, lactation consultation and education for new mothers on what to expect in emergency situations.
- For mental health support, contact Alberta's 24-hour Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642.
- Families evacuated who have children with medical needs can contact Ronald McDonald House Northern Alberta at 780-439-5437 for help arranging housing and care.
- Mint Health + Drugs locations across Alberta are offering free emergency medicine for evacuees who left their medication behind. There are eight locations, including one in Edmonton at 10611 101 St. Call 780-757-1030 or your local location for information.
- Inclusion Alberta is reaching out to persons with developmental disabilities displaced by fires in northern Alberta looking for support or accommodation. Contact them by calling 780-451-3055 ext. 400.
- Urban Vision and Optometrists at 15957 97 St. is offering a free pair of prescription glasses to evacuees who either lost or damaged theirs. Call 780-760-1268 for more information.
- The Southwest Family Dental Clinic at 1719 Towne Centre Blvd in Edmonton is offering free emergency dental care for evacuees in need. Contact them at 780-435-5515 or email email@example.com
- The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce is offering complimentary office space to businesses displaced by wildfires in the Wood Buffalo region at their World Trade Centre Edmonton building at 9990 Jasper Avenue. To book space, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 780-426-4620.
- Regus is opening their fully-serviced business lounges from Manitoba to British Columbia to assist business professionals displaced by Alberta wildfires. To find a local centre, go to www.regus.ca
- The U-Haul Company of Northern Alberta, Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories and Edmonton are all offering 30 days of free self-storage and U-Box container use for people evacuated by wildfires who need to store personal items. Contact a local U-Haul branch for information.
- StorageMart is donating a free month of storage in Edmonton for evacuees. Call 877-786-7243 for information.
- Class A Property Group has warehouse space available in the Harvest Industrial Park in Leduc. Fort McMurray Evacuees can contact the Lizotte and Associates Real Estate office at 780-488-0888 or contact Casey Bond on her cell phone at 780-221-6418 for free storage.
- The City of Edmonton is offering free admission to all city-owned attractions and facilities to evacuees, including the Edmonton Valley Zoo, the Muttart Conservatory, the John Janzen Nature Centre and any City of Edmonton recreation facility. For more information, dial 311.
- People displaced by wildfires are offered free addmission to any of Alberta's 17 provincially owned and operated historic sites and museums. Present a piece of ID or provide your postal code. For more information, go to www.culture.alberta.ca
- The Telus World of Science at 11211 142 St. is offering free admission for evacuee families until May 11.
- Allstars Playland at 9510 12 Ave. is offering free admission to wildfire evacuee families until Sunday.
- The Grande Prairie Public Library is making library cards available to displaced Albertans. Contact them at 780-532-3580 or go to www.gpl.ca
- Players from the Edmonton Eskimos football team, the Eskimos Cheer Team and team mascots will be visiting evacuees housed at the Edmonton Northlands reception centre on Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m.
- The Devonian Botanic Garden in Highway 60, five kilometres north of Devon, is offering free admission for Fort McMurray evacuees during the 2016 season. For more information, call 780-987-3054 or visit www.devonian.ualberta.ca
- The University of Alberta is offering free access to all of its recreation facilities and libraries - including their computers - for all Alberta wildfire evacuees.
- Fountain Tire at 8550 Yellowhead Trail is offering to repair tires damaged in the Fort McMurray evacuation free of charge.
- Est-elle Academy of Hair Design at 8004 Gateway Boulevard is offering a shampoo and blow out service with a scalp massage for evacuees for the rest of the week. Contact them at 780-432-7577.
- The Beauty Parlour, located on the second floor at 10011 82 Ave., is offering a free shampoo and blowout for evacuees with a Fort McMurray ID until May 12. To book an appointment, call 780-429-4242 or email email@example.com
- Echo Hair Design at #205 8135 102 St. is offering a free hair cleanse and style to evacuees. Contact them at 780-469-3246 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment.
- K.C Photography is offering free family photo shoots to evacuees. Contact them at 780-691-4136 for details. Many other local photographers are posting similar offers on their Facebook page, "Fort McMurray Photo Dates/Locations."
- The Edmonton Wedding Gallery and Bridal Plus Boutique at 10404 68 Ave. is offering a 50% discount for brides who have lost their wedding gowns during the northern Alberta wildfires. Contact them at 780-486-2575.
- Anytime Fitness Old Strathcona at 10469 80 Ave. is opening their gyms for evacuees to use while they are in Edmonton.
- The Celtic Ceilidh Dance Academy at 6325 Gateway Boulevard is offering free Highland and Irish dance classes for evacuees. Contact them at 780-490-4544 for details.
- Fort City Church from Fort McMurray is partnering with Edmonton's Beulah Alliance Church at 17504 98A Ave. to host a special church service for all Fort McMurray evacuees on Sunday at 3 p.m. to worship together and hear a message of hope.
- Yoga Central at #104 5124 122 St. is offering free yoga for Fort McMurray evacuees. They are also collecting donations of yoga clothing for evacuees who may not have any items with them. Go to www.yogacentral.ca or call 780-439-0014 for details.
Every action, small or large, makes a difference in times like these. For instance,
- If you have space available to share with those in need of shelter, consider posting it to myreinspace.com or on our Facebook page.
- If you have insurance questions, listen to this conference call with Chris Westrop and Patrick Francey, as they went over several important ones. If you have any other questions or concerns you would like addressed, email email@example.com and we will do our best to find the answer for you.
- LLR Canada has available suites for May/June - they'll rent them out to you for free, with a $99 security deposit. Contact their office at 780-443-1161 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- CIBC has also stepped up to help their mortgage clients in Ft Mac with options that include payment deferral and re-amortization options. Here’s the link to CIBC overview details.
- ATB Financial has also stepped in for their clients (both business and mortgage) with a Disaster Relief Plan. Read about it here.
- More major banks have stepped up and created their own policies on Disaster Relief for property and business owners in the Fort McMurray and region. Check with your bank to see what your options are.
- If you don’t have Park Insurance’s REIN Member special coverage (much more coverage and safety than most rental property policies), you really should, as they proved themselves during the Calgary Floods, the Slave Lake Fire and now again in this Fort McMurray disaster. Here are the details.
- The Federal Government will be matching all funds donated to the Fort McMurray Red Cross relief fund.
- Aviva Canada is on-site in Lac La Biche with mobile claim centres:
- "Our hearts go out to the people of Fort McMurray. The safety of the residents, and that of the fire-fighting teams who are doing everything possible to get the situation under control, must be the primary focus,” said Greg Somerville, President and CEO, Aviva Canada. Since the evacuation order is in effect, our mobile claims centre will be up and running at the Canalta Lac La Biche Hotel, 9905 83 Avenue, Lac la Biche, AB T0A 2C0. Initial support will focus on issuing cheques for living expenses and other immediate needs. Once the state of emergency is lifted and Aviva gains access to Fort McMurray, we will be able to respond directly to the catastrophe and help the community deal with their losses. Aviva customers should call 1 866 MYAVIVA (1 866 692 8482) to register their claim and receive immediate support.
Listen to the tips and strategies in this recording, then start taking action. Whether you own in Fort McMurray or not – it is a great time to mitigate the risks in your own portfolio.
Please also share this link with others who can benefit from this knowledge. We wish you all the best.