Cenovus partners with Samaritan's Purse including donation, employee volunteers for flood relief efforts

Oil firm providing $100,000 and committing volunteers to help southern Alberta flood victims

CALGARY, July 15, 2013 /CNW/ - Cenovus Energy is partnering with Samaritan's Purse Canada by providing the relief and development organization with $100,000 and employee volunteers to help southern Alberta flood victims. The support will be used in Calgary, High River, Siksika, Medicine Hat and possibly other locations where Samaritan's Purse is cleaning and rehabilitating flood-damaged homes.

"Our thoughts are with everyone across southern Alberta who is impacted by the devastating floods," said Vicki Reid, Cenovus' Director, Community Affairs. "We want to acknowledge the amazing work being done by Samaritan's Purse to ensure people remain safe. We believe in giving more than just our financial help - we live and work in the affected areas, and know how important it is to our staff to be able to volunteer and support clean-up efforts."

Fred Weiss, Samaritan's Purse Canada's executive director, said: "We are very grateful for Cenovus' significant commitment to our flood relief effort in southern Alberta. Their financial contribution and their promise of employee volunteers to assist in the rehabilitation work will be an immense help to us. The need for financial and volunteer help in southern Alberta is enormous, and it will continue for months."

The average cost of rehabilitating each flooded home - removing destroyed furnishings and belongings, tearing out soggy drywall and flooring, power-washing everything, then spraying anti-mould disinfectant - is $2,000. An estimated 30,000 southern Alberta homes have been damaged or destroyed by the June 21 floods that rank as the most destructive in the province's history - sparked by torrential rainfall and a 10-fold increase in several of the region's river flow rates.

Samaritan's Purse has three specially equipped transport trucks - known as Disaster Relief Units - assisting. One was in Calgary and another was in Medicine Hat. Now that volunteers have completed a combined 230 home clean-ups in those two cities, both units have been moved to the Siksika Nation east of Calgary to meet urgent needs there. The third unit is in High River to address equally urgent needs.

Each Disaster Relief Unit serves as a local headquarters for emergency equipment and supplies, and for training and managing the almost 2,000 volunteers so far who have been helping.

Cenovus employees in Calgary and Medicine Hat will soon be part of that volunteer effort - working alongside others from corporations and churches, plus many individuals who have signed up on their own. Some volunteers are committing a day or two, while others are contributing weeks. Several have served during past Samaritan's Purse disaster responses.

Other disasters in Canada to which Samaritan's Purse Canada has responded include fires in Slave Lake, AB, in 2011; Hurricane Igor in Newfoundland in 2010; a tornado in Leamington, ON, in 2010; and floods in Ontario in 2013, in New Brunswick in 2012, 2010, and 2008, in Quebec in 2011, in Alberta in 2010, and in British Columbia in 2009. Samaritan's Purse Canada has also responded to many international disasters including the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011, earthquake in 2010, Hurricane Katrina in the U.S. Gulf Coast in 2005, and the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.

Donations Needed
To support this urgent relief and recovery work, call 1-800-663-6500 or visit SamaritansPurse.ca.

About Samaritan's Purse Canada
Samaritan's Purse Canada is an international Christian relief and development organization working in about 45 countries to provide aid to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine, and persecution. The Calgary-based charity also operates the well-known Operation Christmas Child program that sends gift-filled shoe boxes to needy children around the world each year. Our water initiatives raise funds for life-saving BioSand Water Filters throughout the developing world. Go to www.samaritanspurse.ca for more information.

About Cenovus Energy
Cenovus is a Canadian oil company. It is committed to applying fresh, progressive thinking to safely and responsibly unlock energy resources the world needs. Operations include oil sands projects in northern Alberta, which used specialized methods to drill and pump the oil to the surface, and established natural gas and oil production in Alberta and Saskatchewan. The company also has a 50% ownership in two U.S. refineries. For more information, visit www.cenovus.com.

Find Samaritan's Purse on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Find Cenovus on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.

SOURCE: Samaritan's Purse Canada

For further information:

Media inquiries:

Jeff Adams
Communications Director
Samaritan's Purse Canada
1.800.663.6500 (ext.8723) or 403.615-8747 (c)
jadams@samaritan.ca    

Trisha Doherty
Analyst, Media Relations
Cenovus Energy Inc.
403.766.2004
patricia.doherty@cenovus.com


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