The announcement is a first step on the long journey of recovery for residents who were forced to evacuate their homes during the first week of May 2016 when high winds fanned a wildfire that threatened the town.
“There are still sporadic flare ups and fire outbreaks in the area,” Ryskamp said. “In some hot spots, houses have exploded. It’s just one of the reasons why residents are not allowed into the city yet: it is still not safe.”
World Renew DRS regional managers for western Canada, Henry and Linda Visscher, are coordinating with government and non-governmental organizations that are responding to the wildfires.
The Alberta government has asked World Renew DRS to explore the possbility of conducting an unmet needs assessment for the residents of Fort McMurray. This assessment would take place several months down the road and help identify residents with fire related needs which will not be met by either insurance or governmental assistance.
“This information will be extremely valuable to organizing the home repair and recovery process,” the Visschers said.
On May 19, representatives of the Reformed (RCA) and Christian Reformed churches in northern Alberta met with evacuees from Fort McMurray including those from Evergreen Community CRC to discuss their fire-related needs. World Renew DRS will work through the local churches in the weeks and months to come to care for those affected by the fires.
“I want to thank the generous churches and individuals who are contributing financially to support the fire survivors through World Renew,” Ryskamp said. “Your gifts will provide care for the residents of Fort McMurray now and as their recovery progresses.”