Brazeau County and Drayton Valley residents who were affected by the wildfires last May could be eligible for some help from the Canadian Red Cross.

The Canadian Red Cross has made grants available for Albertans who had property damage due to a wildfire, and for those who came close to having damage.

“As part of our ongoing assistance to impacted communities, the Canadian Red Cross has launched the Support for Households Program, offering personalized recovery support and financial incentives for a range of mitigative and maintenance activities to help Alberta residents impacted by the 2023 Alberta Wildfires,” says media relations representative Dean Pogas in an email interview.

Both grants are open for applications until February 29, 2004.

The Personalized Recovery Support is geared toward helping those whose homes are uninhabitable as a result of the fires. This could include smoke damage to the home, or the actual loss of the structure.

The Canadian Red Cross website states that the Red Cross will work with each accepted applicant for this grant to ensure the help is tailored to their situation. In some cases, the organization is even offering eligible families with financial support to cover some of their needs.

Eligible residents must have a primary residence that was under evacuation order or alert during the wildfire. They have to be a homeowner, tenant, or in a community-owned home, and the primary residences must have incurred significant damage which left the house uninhabitable or destroyed by the fire.

Those residents who were evacuated but did not have damage to their homes also have the opportunity for some help from the Red Cross.

The Residential Mitigation Incentive is a grant that homeowners can access to help mitigate some fire hazards on their property.

Under the first category applicants can apply for, Residential Maintenance, eligible homeowners can receive up to $1,500 to some basic repairs or maintenance to their property.

“These are simple tasks that most people can take on themselves or with some extra help. They will help reduce the risk of wildfire spread around your home,” says the organization on their website.

Those tasks include roof maintenance/repairs; some window and exterior door repairs such as weatherstripping or caulker, filling or repairing cracks, gaps, and holes in the siding of the home; clearing debris out of eavestroughs; removing plants that are too close to the home, or that can catch fire from under the deck; and pruning trees up to two metres from the ground.

The eligibility requirements are the same as the requirements for the Personalized Recovery Support, except the house can only have minor damages or be without damage completely.

Then there are the major changes that some homeowners may need to take. Applicants looking to replace roofing, combustible siding, install or replace fire rated deck materials and replace exterior doors and windows will want to consider this grant.

“You may need help from a contractor or a professional to ensure these projects are done properly,” says the website.

Homeowners who receive this grant will have to provide before and after pictures to prove they have done the work before they are reimbursed by the Red Cross.

Anyone looking for more information regarding these grants can email or call their information line at 1-833-966-4225.

By Amanda Jeffery, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jan 11, 2024 at 14:05

This item reprinted with permission from   Free Press   Drayton Valley, Alberta

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