Thunder Bay emergency is among largest Red Cross response in Ontario in more than a decade
THUNDER BAY and TORONTO, June 8, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Red Cross continues to work on the ground in Thunder Bay, ON, providing urgently-needed relief to families whose homes have been devastated by flooding that occurred more than a week ago. With more than 3,000 homes affected and more than 100 volunteers on scene, this is one of the largest Red Cross responses in Ontario in more than a decade.
"The Red Cross has been in Thunder Bay since the start of the emergency, but this situation is far from over," said Mike Morton, Ontario director of disaster management, Canadian Red Cross. "Consider that more than 3,000 homes are affected, and many have been flooded knee-deep with sewage water. Add to that, more than 400 homes did not have insurance. The community is in tremendous need of support right now."
With 118 highly trained disaster response volunteers working around the clock in Thunder Bay, it is one of the largest recent Red Cross responses in Ontario. Volunteers who specialize in flood response have been deployed from across Canada to support the relief efforts. Already, volunteers have donated more than 7,000 hours of their time.
Working in close co-operation with the City of Thunder Bay, the Canadian Red Cross has been going door-to-door to assess damage in affected homes. Already, nearly 700 homes have been assessed. To speed up assessments, the Red Cross has also established three centres where families can come for a rapid assessment and receive immediate aid.
To help those families in immediate need, the Red Cross is working to provide up to 1,000 comfort kits -- which contain personal hygiene items, baby supplies and more -- as well as up to 2,000 clean-up kits. The Red Cross is also providing vouchers for families who are in need of food, clothing or other basic necessities.
A shelter operated by the Red Cross remains open, where more than 50 people have been registered. These shelters have also been used for families looking for bathing facilities, which was especially important in the first few days of the flooding when there were restrictions on water due to the sewage back up.
The Canadian Red Cross is appealing to the public to consider making a donation to its Thunder Bay Floods 2012 fund which will help ensure the Red Cross can reach as many of the most vulnerable families as possible.
Donations to support the Canadian Red Cross relief efforts can be made online at www.redcross.ca, by calling 1-800-418-1111 or visiting in-person their local Red Cross branch. Funds should be earmarked for Thunder Bay Flood 2012.
Photos of the Red Cross response by photographer Johan Hallberg-Campbell are available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/redcrossontario
About the Red Cross
The Canadian Red Cross helps vulnerable communities in Canada and around the world affected by emergencies and disasters - situations ranging from individual house fires to natural disasters like floods and forest fires that can disrupt an entire region. For more information about Canadian Red Cross disaster management and how to prepare for emergencies, visit www.redcross.ca.
For further information:
For interview requests please call:
Karen Snider, Canadian Red Cross, 416-518-2844 / [email protected]
*Media interviews from Thunder Bay can be arranged