Hundreds of Fort McMurray residents lined up outside an Edmonton arena yesterday to pick up one-time emergency funding from the province to help them with their immediate needs.  According to the Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, adult evacuees will receive a one-time payment of $1,250 and minors will receive $500, which will be distributed through debit cards. Three centres were set up throughout the province to give out the debit cards.

The money is to help Fort McMurray residents to cover immediate emergency expenses, like temporary housing, food and clothing.  Within hours of the announcement, crowds gathered at Edmonton’s Butterdome to receive the emergency payment. Two centres in Calgary and another in Lac La Biche also provided the pre-loaded debit cards and the good news is that according to officials there are enough cards for all people that are eligible.

Added to this assistance is the Canadian Red Cross who announced on Wednesday that it will provide $50 million, or $600 per adult and $300 per child, in immediate financial assistance to evacuees. The organization has announced that its Alberta fire relief fund has collected $67 million so far, with a large part of the donations coming from individuals.

More About The Situation in Fort McMurray

Definite guidleines as to when folk can get back home is still vague as officials say the area still must be deemed “safe”. The decision to allow re-entry to Fort McMurray will depend on specific criteria, including safe access to water, transportation, power and natural gas.

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