Assistance and Recovery Support
Recovering from a disaster is difficult. The Government of Alberta makes it easier by providing disaster financial assistance after catastrophic events like overland flooding that cause uninsurable damage and loss. Eligible applicants include homeowners, tenants, small businesses, agricultural producers, not-for-profit organizations and municipalities.
Disaster financial assistance can be accessed after a municipality applies for a Disaster Recovery Program (DRP) on behalf of their residents, and if the program is approved. Once a program is created, residents and other applicants can then apply for financial assistance. A state of local emergency does not have to be declared in order to receive financial assistance under a DRP.
DRPs are administered by the Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) within Alberta Municipal Affairs. Alberta Regulation 51/94 of the Alberta Emergency Management Act allows the province to provide disaster recovery assistance to eligible applicants if the event meets these criteria:
- The event is considered extraordinary.
- Insurance is not reasonably or readily available.
- A determination as to whether the event was widespread or localized.
- For widespread events, there is evidence the extent of damages are widespread
- For localized events, the event threatens the economic viability of a small number of people, small businesses, and municipalities.
The conditions that each type of disaster has to meet to be considered for a DRP are outlined below.
If the rainfall has been measured at least at a one-in-25 year level in urban areas or a one-in-50 year level in rural areas, it is considered extraordinary.
If the flooding is caused by a waterway, and the stream flow exceeds a one in 100 year level, it is considered extraordinary.
Each ice jam is reviewed on an individual basis. Data collected by Alberta Environment and Parks on general winter and ice conditions and extraordinary conditions will be reviewed.
Overland flooding is where water flows overland and seeps into buildings through windows, doors and other openings. Overland flood insurance is becoming increasingly available in Alberta. As of May 2018, there are a dozen companies offering overland flood insurance products in Alberta.
Because the DRP provides assistance for damages that are considered uninsurable, overland flood insurance may soon impact eligibility for DRP assistance.
AEMA encourages every Albertan to be aware of the risks they face from overland flooding and the steps they can take to reduce potential losses. The Government of Alberta publishes river flood maps showing the risks of a one-in-100 year flood event. It is important to understand that overland flooding can occur anywhere, not just near rivers. Flooding can also occur due to intense rainfall, rapid snowmelt or sewer backup.
Obtaining adequate insurance is one way to protect your family. As insurance guidelines vary between insurers, you are advised to check with your insurance provider on your current level of coverage and any limitations that may apply.
For more information on flood insurance and DRP eligibility, please visit our updated FAQ page here.
Insurance coverage for wildfire is considered readily and reasonably available to Albertans. For Albertans who have had to evacuate their homes, the Insurance Bureau of Canada recommends that you keep your receipts for expenses such as food, clothing or lodging. Contact your insurance provider for more information.
Insurance coverage for wind events is considered readily and reasonably available to Albertans. Wind events, including tornadoes, can cause loss and damage from flying debris or falling branches to homes, businesses, farming operations and public infrastructure.
As insurance guidelines vary between insurers, Albertans are advised to check with their insurance provider on their current level of coverage or limitations.