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Town Hall Summary June 8th

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7

Town Hall Summary June 8th

Fire Update

There was slight growth in the Fort McMurray wildfire yesterday, but the fire remains nearly 70 per cent contained. It is estimated to cover

581,956 hectares, including the Saskatchewan side, with a perimeter estimate of 987 kilometres.

Crews have completed about 535 kilometres of dozer guard.

Extreme burning conditions still exist for some areas of the fire.

There are 2,794 firefighters and support staff, 147 helicopters, 16 tankers and 233 pieces of heavy equipment battling fires across the province.

There are 28 active wildfires in Alberta, with eight out of control.

Environmental monitoring continues in the Fort McMurray region, including mobile air monitoring. Results of environmental testing data are now available online.

Hotspots are being managed in the Fort McMurray area. Anyone with information about new wildfires should call 1-866-394-3473. Reports of structural fires should be made to 911.

Fire crews need safe access to air space. Drones or other airborne devices may not be flown without the approval of the Regional Emergency Operations Centre.

 

General Information

So far the Red Cross has raised over 120 million 4 to help out with evacuees of Fort McMurray.

The information centres have received over 42 thousand visitors

Tomorrow night at 8 pm the information centre at Westwood Highschool will close.

The information centre at Composite Highschool will close on Sunday.

Starting on Monday June 13th the permanent information centre will be open at the Future Forward building downtown on Franklin Ave from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, and will offer all the same assistance as the other information centres have been this whole time.

If you require mental health services, representatives are at the information centres, you can call Health Link Alberta at 8-1-1 or the 24 hour

Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642.

The mobile urgent care centre is still open and will be until the hospital is back up and running June 21st

Upon your return home make sure you have contact with your insurance company and adjuster to see exactly what they would like you to do.

Check to make sure your smoke detectors still work.

If you are renting, contact your landlord to see when it is ok to return to your home.

If you require travel assistance to return to Fort McMurray please call the Red Cross at 1-888-350-6070.

They are working with childcare providers to have them up and running as soon as possible.

Access to restricted areas is being monitored and controlled for your safety and you health, proper ppe should be warn at all time in the restricted areas of Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways.

Access will be available to residents, members of the Property Visit Team and accredited contractors accompanying residents. All visitors will be required to sign in and out at security gates, provide identification and wear appropriate clothing (long sleeves, long pants and closed toe shoes).

Additional protective equipment (nitrile gloves and N95 masks) will be provided on site.

Residents with destroyed homes who only wish to view their properties can do so. Residents who require Team Rubicon sifting services will be able to schedule an accompanied visit by calling the PULSE line at 780-743-7000. Appointments will be taken until June 19, 2016 and visits will occur until all scheduled visits are completed. Team Rubicon services are only available for properties which have been destroyed. Due to demand, sifting visits are limited to four hours and will occur only once.

Residents with structurally sound homes may visit their properties and are encouraged to take only essential items from their homes.

Residents with partially damaged homes are encouraged to coordinate visits with their insurance company.
Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways cannot be permanently occupied until debris has been removed by the municipality. We ask residents to continue to demonstrate the resilience they have shown so far.

Residents with the following medical conditions or situations should not return to the community until the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre is fully operational:
A chronic or acute medical condition, like asthma
– Requiring regular primary care, specialist care, laboratory, or diagnostic services
– Requiring counselling or mental health services
– More than 36 weeks pregnant or a high-risk pregnancy
– Receiving cancer treatment, dialysis, or other specialized medical services
– Requiring home care, home oxygen or home health supports
– Recently discharged from hospital or had a transplant

You can apply for wildfire relief funding from another province or territory from June 1 to 15, 2016.
If you miss the June 15 deadline, you are welcome to apply at a designated Alberta Works Centre when you return home to Alberta. There is no deadline to apply within Alberta.

What you MUST bring to apply:

Canadian Red Cross registration number. Register with the Canadian Red Cross by visiting their office or telephoning 1-888-350-6070.
Government-issued photo ID (driver’s license, passport, etc.)
Proof you resided in the Fort McMurray area at the time of evacuation (utility bill, car registration, insurance documents, pay stub, etc.)
Proof you left Alberta at the time of evacuation (plane ticket, hotel bill, gas receipt, etc.)
Proof of family relationships if applying for the entire household (health benefit card, birth certificates, passports, school documents, etc.)
Proof family members were living in the Fort McMurray area during the evacuation period, and left Alberta during that time (school registration records, plane or bus tickets and other travel receipts, etc.)

 

Questions and Answers

Q – When it comes to rebuilding your home, insurance companies say it must be rebuilt on the same property, if the decision is made to not rebuild in the badly damaged areas or Abasand Waterways and Beacon Hill, will there be leeway on this?
A – They are still waiting direction from the RMWB council on what will happen going forward, if there comes a decision to not rebuild in those areas, insurance companies will give leeway due to the special circumstances.

Q – Is there a specific date when it will be safe for kids and all those who shouldn’t return yet?
A- June 21st the hospital will be up and fully functional, therefore ready to serve you in the case of a medical emergency, after the 21st it will be safe to return, but make sure you keep an eye on the air quality and make your decision based on this before returning.

Q – When will we be able to return and live in our homes still standing in the restricted areas?
A – When all of the debris and hazards are removed from these areas, and services are restored. As of now you can access these areas from 8 am to 8 pm with proper ppe, you must sign in and sign out.

Q – Are contractors allowed to enter the restricted areas to remove the contents of my home from the restricted areas?
A – Yes, they want to make sure you have access to remove your contents and begin cleaning your home in these areas during the hours of 8 am to 8 pm.

Q – When will the boil water advisory be lifted for Fort McMurray?
A – The boil water advisory remains in place in all areas except for the lower townsite. Great progress is being made in the flushing of lines and potable water should be available much sooner than the original projected date of the end of June.

Q – My landlord has changed the locks of the home and put my contents outside, are they allowed to do this?
A – The landlord cannot change the locks of the unit without giving you a new key unless you have been evicted, you can call the RCMP to look into the matter, get a lawyer and take them to civil court, or have a mediator come in to resolve the issue. To make a complaint you can call Service Alberta at 1-877-427-4088.

Q – When will the registries be open?
A – They are working on remediation of their offices and should be opening within the next few days.

Q – When will the re-entry financial help be given out by the Red Cross?
A – The Red Cross continues to do email transfer every day and is trying to get all funding to everyone registered.

Q – The samples collected and tested show toxic levels 40x higher then what is deemed safe, how is it safe for people to be in Fort McMurray?
A – The areas of town where the levels are way above normal after a wildfire are the restricted ones, Abasand, Waterways and Beaconhill, this is why they have sprayed the tackifire over the areas to insure the ash and contaminants do not spread. When in this zones you should be wearing proper ppe, supplied at the security checkpoint. The other areas of town are safe.

Q – When will access to Wood Buffalo Housing be granted?
A – They are cleaning the units and making sure everything is safe and ready for you to return, they have a tentative re-entry schedule for their properties on their website http://www.wbhadc.ca/faq/ Make sure you talk to your landlord if you are a renter to make sure it’s ok to return to your home prior to coming back to Fort McMurray.

Q – For people who have been unable to live in their homes since the evacuation but are still being charged rent can something be done?
A – If you are a landlord you should talk to your insurance provider as loss of income from rent not getting paid should be covered.
If you are a tenant you can call the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service at 1-877-427-4088, or take your landlord to court.

Q – My insurance adjuster is not returning any of my calls or emails, am I able to change adjusters?
A – All insurance adjuster are dealing with many claims and are trying to accommodate everyone as best as they can. If you are unhappy with your adjuster contact you insurance provider to see how they can remedy the situation or you can call The Insurance Bureau of Canada at 1-844-227-5422 to help you get in touch with your claims manager and go through all options available to you.

Q – Will there be cabs or a shuttle service into town from the airport when it opens on June 10th?
A – Taxis are available, and there will a limited bus schedule from the aiport starting June 10th.

Q – I’ve heard Red Cross will be leaving Fort McMurray on June 15th, is this true?
A – No, The Red Cross will remain in Fort McMurray until they have reached their goal of helping every individual and family in the community.

Q – Do I have a say in who my insurance company hires to do the remediation of my home?
A – Yes, you have the final say on who does work to your home and property, your adjuster will give you the names and quotes from companies they recommend, but should provide you in writing information that says it is up to you who does the work.

Q – When will the transit system be available in Fort McMurray?
A – Transit buses will commence on a limited basis June 10th with access to the airport, with more and more service being put in place the days and weeks following.

Q – When will Canada Post start mail deliver in Fort McMurray?
A – June 10th is when Canada Post expects to have their offices open in town, with mail service starting up soon after.

Q – If my vehicle is in the restricted areas but looks ok, can it be removed without an appointment to enter the fenced off areas with Team Rubicon.
A – If your vehicle is not in the fenced off areas, they recommend your get an inspection done before moving the vehicle has it may have damage that is not visible.
If your vehicle is in the damaged areas, it will most likely have smoke damage, damage from the ash, and has been sprayed with tackifire, contact your insurance provider nd then call the Pulse Line at 780-743-7000 to talk about your individual situation.

Q – I’ve heard rumours the hospital won’t open until mid July, is this true?
A – As of the last update progress is continuing on schedule and the hospital should open June 21st

Q – When will courier services be available in Fort McMurray?
A – No information on a specific date, but hopefully within the week.

Q – Is there interim housing available for those who have lost their homes or can’t yet return home?
A – Yes, you can use online classified sites, such as Kijiji for places to rent, there are hotels in service, with rooms or you can contact the Red Cross at 1-888-350-6070. Please make sure you have secured a place to stay before returning to Fort McMurray.

Q – Will there be testing done in Anzac, like there is in Fort McMurray of the air, soil and water?
A – Yes, they have just completed phase two of testing and the results will be made available at http://www.alberta.ca/environmental-monitoring-fort-mcmurray.cfm
Q- Is my insurance company responsible for cleaning up mold and other damages it to my home not smoke related?
A – Contact your insurance provider and adjuster to see exactly what they cover.

Q – What is the current bear situation in town, should I not let my animals out in my yard?
A – Alberta Fish and Wildlife have been taking care of any bears in the region, sightings have gone down significantly as crews continuously remove garbage from around town.

Q – The tackifire is in place now to ensure ash and contaminants don’t spread, how will they insure no toxins will become airborne during clean up?
A – Plans are being made to insure no contaminants will spread during the debris removal and clean up stages.

Q – My landlord needs me to take out all my processions so a cleaning company can go in and clean up the home, whose responsibility is it to remove my things, my landlords or mine?
A – Check your le3ase and talk to your landlord to make plans and to decide who will remove your items

Q – It is recommended you bring 14 days worth of food and supplies with you upon your return to Fort McMuray, I will be flying in when the airport is reopen how can I bring all of that with me?
A – During the start of re-entry before grocery stores were open it was recommended to bring 14 days worth of food and water and prescription drugs with you to not over run the limited supply of resources in town. Now that there are resources in town you no longer have to bring 14 days worth of supplies with you.

Q – Is there transportation in place to go north to retrieve my vehicle from a work camp?
A – See if you can get a ride from family or friends, taxi service is available, or contact the Red Cross for transportation help at 1-888-350-6070.

Q – Is it safe to live in my home before the insurance adjuster has had a chance to look through it?
A – Ultimately it is up to you whether or not you live in your home before your adjuster has gone through.

Q – Are there any family doctors offices or pediatricians open in Fort McMurray?
A – June 21st all services will be available at the hospital, to find out if your specific doctor is open contact their office or Health Link Alberta for answers to specific questions at 8-1-1.

Q – My dog has been missing since the evacuation, who can I contact to see if he was found?
A – You can call 780-788-4200 for information on missing animals, and go to http://www.rmwb.ca/Municipal-Government/municipal_departments/Emergency-Services—Law-Enforcement/rcmp/Bylaw-Services/Animal-Control-Services/Gallery.htm for information on animals still in the care of the municipality.

Q – When will Childcare facilities be open?
A – Day homes will be opening soon with childcare facilities opening probably in mid July.

Q – Does my insurance cover me for not being able to return home yet?
A – Additional living expenses of your insurance policy is triggered when your home is not livable due to damage.

Q – Why are they cutting down more and more trees around Fort McMurray?
A – They are doing what they can to help with fire prevention for the future; they are following the recommendations of the Firesmart Program and will continue to make Fort McMurray and surrounding communities safer.

Q – How long will it take before we are able to live in our homes unaffected by the fire in the restricted zones?
A – Right now they are still in the re-entry phase, once re-entry is completed plans will be in place to remove the debris and start remediation of these zones, once that is complete and all hazards are removed and council has a plan in place for these areas you will be able to return home. There is no time line for all of this yet.

Q – Will air quality testing be done on the inside of homes around the affected areas?
A – If your home has a pink placard on the door, you are required to contact your insurance and call the pulse line to arrange and inspector to come into your home and assess for damage or contaminants that may have gone in your home.

Q – Is there a deadline for entering my home in the restricted areas?
A – As of now you can access your home in the restricted areas 7 days a week from 8 am to 8 pm, plans for debris removal will be released when they are finalized.

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