Evacuees lined up outside the Sandman Centre in Kamloops. Kimberly Vance-Lundsbye photo.

Evacuee benefits extended to July 20

Including accommodation, food and clothing vouchers.

  • Jul. 16, 2017 5:45 a.m.

By Melissa Smalley

BC wildfire evacuees who are relying on benefits from Evacuation Social Services (ESS) will see that support extended until at least July 20, according to ESS director Liz Jones.

Jones says that benefits for evacuees will be extended until at least Thursday, however, those displaced from their homes will need to re-register at one of the many evacuation centres around the province.

Benefits available to wildfire evacuees – the number of which is estimated to be 37,000 across the province following yesterday’s evacuation order in Williams Lake – include accommodation, food and clothing vouchers.

“If they can’t afford to put themselves up somewhere or they don’t have anyone in the area they can stay with, they will be offered group lodging or billeting,” Jones says, noting most hotels are full. “We don’t ever give out cash, but we do have some food vouchers, and if you left in a hurry and don’t have clothes, you can get a clothing voucher as well.”

Jones confirms that residents who have left their homes voluntarily are not eligible for benefits unless they have a proven medical reason to have evacuated without an order to do so.

She also encourages everyone who has been placed under evacuation order to register with the Red Cross if they haven’t done so already; registration can be done by phone at 1-800-863-6582 or online at www.epactnetwork.com/en/signup/redcross

While Jones notes that locally there has been a certain amount of frustration from evacuees, who are finding it challenging to access information, she assures the community the ESS staff are doing the best they can given the circumstances.

The Kamloops evacuation centre – located at the Sandman Centre – will be looking for experienced volunteers to deal with the influx of displaced Williams Lake residents this weekend. A volunteer area is set up where those wanting to help can be put to work, Jones says.

Sunday morning, hundreds of evacuees – many of them seniors – could be seen lined up outside of the Sandman Centre, while hundreds of pets were also outside the arena.

Just Posted

Education minister blasts Chilliwack school trustee on gender issues

Fleming calls Neufeld’s behaviour ‘shameful’ and ‘unacceptable’

Precious Blood Parish victim to ‘bloody’ vandalism attacks

Fake blood poured on statues of Jesus Christ, Virgin Mary

Feds announce housing help in Surrey

MP Ken Hardie announce affordable housing funding along with funding for co-op housing in Surrey

VIDEO: Langley high school locked down after reports of a gun

No one was injured after reports someone with a gun was seen on school grounds.

Surrey’s ‘Rock and Roll Kid’ is all grown up, and he’s even more awesome on guitar

Now fronting a prog-funk band, Daniel Sveinson, 24, recalls 15-plus years of playing like a pro

UPDATE: Surrey RCMP take ‘disturbed’ man into custody after dramatic incident on Scott Road

Police suspected he had a gun but no weapon was seized and nobody was injured

Hurricanes breeze past Giants in WHL action

Vancouver’s four-game home-ice winning streak at Langley Events Centre comes to an end in disappointing 5-2 loss

VIDEO: ‘She is a tough cookie,’ says husband of found Coquitlam dog walker

Annette Poitras found alive in the woods on Wednesday morning

BC Transit buses to get safety door for drivers

These new full-length doors will be tested in Victoria, Kelowna and Abbotsford

Lower Mainland teen seeks funding for $750,000 drug Soliris

Paul Chung is hopeful that, like Shantee Anaquod, he will be approved for costly aHUS treatment

MINTY: ‘Sing 150’ concert features girls and boys choirs in harmony

Surrey roots for BC Girls Choir, which gets busy over the next couple of weeks

‘Fresh eyes’ looking into three missing Cowichan Tribes men

First Nations want answers to their disappearances

Full Cupboard Holiday Program: Raising food, funds and awareness.

Envision Financial and Langley Advance support area food banks this season

Pedestrian hit moments after receiving safety reflector from police

The Vancouver Island man was treated for minor injuries by police at the scene

Most Read