B.C. wildfires: How you can help
Published Sunday, July 9, 2017 7:52PM EDT
Hundreds of wildfires burning out of control in British Columbia have prompted an outpouring of support for affected residents.
If you would like to contribute to the disaster response efforts, here are some ways to help:
Donate to the Red Cross: The Canadian Red Cross is supporting the aid efforts of provincial and local authorities. The agency says donations will go towards immediate relief costs, blankets, family reunification, food, clothing and personal needs.
Donate to Food Banks BC: Food Banks BC has committed to ship food and water to wherever it is needed. A map of locations throughout the province can be found here.
Donate to the BC SPCA: The BC SPCA is assisting evacuees with pets. It accepts donations on its website.
Provide lodging: The flames have forced thousands in the province from their homes. Some evacuees with special needs or those travelling with pets may not be able to be accommodated by conventional shelters. Some are offering spaces on social media.
For example, a Facebook group once dedicated to helping those impacted by last year’s Fort McMurray wildfire has been converted to address the fires raging in British Columbia.
Another group has been set up specifically to help evacuees with livestock.
And another has been set up to help find foster homes for pets while their owners are staying in emergency shelters, as well as share information about pets that have gone missing.
Volunteer: British Columbia Emergency Social Services relies on volunteers to help identify locations for reception centres and group lodging, house and feed evacuees, and support emergency responders.
Don’t bring donations to evacuation centres without checking: The Thompson-Nicola Regional District is working with the Canadian Red Cross to coordinate supplies in Kamloops. The United Way is asking people to hold off on bringing donation to staff at the evacuation centre. The group said, “Stay tuned for information on needs as they arise.”
#Kamloops evac centre telling people not to drop off bedding, clothes or homemade food for evacuated residents...will ask for donations soon— BreannaKarstensSmith (@BreannaCTV) July 8, 2017