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Emergency financial assistance for evacuees is available beginning today

Starting at 2 pm today, debit cards will be issued to people who have been evacuated from Fort McMurray and other northern Alberta communities due to wildfire.

The debit cards, one-time emergency payments of $1,250 for eligible adults and $500 for children under the age of 18, will help evacuees meet immediate, short-term needs, such as temporary housing and day-to-day essential expenses.

“I know this has been a stressful time for many Albertans, and while some evacuees have family supports to fall back on, others do not. Lineups at the card distribution centres will be long. In order to allow for immediate distribution to people who are in most urgent need, we are asking evacuees who aren’t in dire need of these funds to wait a few days before claiming them. These funds will be available for some time, and no eligible evacuee will miss out.”

Rachel Notley, Alberta Premier

Distribution centres will be open between May 11 and 20 as follows:

Debit Card Location

Hours of Operation

Edmonton

Edmonton Butterdome

114 Street and 87 Avenue

May 11:            2 pm - 8 pm

May 12 – 19:   8 am - 8 pm

May 20:           8 am - 12 pm

Calgary

McMahon Stadium

Red & White Club

1833 Crowchild Trail NW

May 11:            2 pm - 8 pm

May 12 – 19:   8 am - 8 pm

May 20:           8 am - 12 pm

BMO Centre

Calgary Stampede Park

20 Roundup Way SW

May 11:            2 pm - 8 pm

May 12 – 19:   8 am - 8 pm

May 20:           8 am - 12 pm

Lac La Biche

Penalty Box upstairs in the Bold Centre

8702-91 Avenue

May 11:            2 pm - 8 pm

May 12 – 13:   8 am - 8 pm

More debit card locations will be added in the coming days. After May 20, emergency financial assistance will move to Alberta Works offices. More information will come in the following days.

One family member can pick up debit cards for the entire family, if they have documentation:

  • Red Cross registration number
  • photo identification
  • identification for partner/spouse and/or dependents, if claiming relief for them
  • proof of residence or presence in the community.

If you need to replace your identification to apply for a debit card, please visit an Alberta Registry Office. They are issuing new identification cards free of charge to wildfire evacuees.

Seniors, individuals with mobility issues, those with special needs, and others who are in Alberta but unable to apply in person at a debit card location can contact 310-4455 to make arrangements to receive emergency financial support from the Government of Alberta.

Evacuees with questions can call 310-4455 toll-free within Alberta or 1-844-406-3276 toll-free outside Alberta for details.

Government is also working with the Red Cross to provide emergency financial assistance from the Government of Alberta, in addition to the funding provided by the Red Cross, for evacuees who have left Alberta. Details will be provided in the coming days.

Details about emergency financial assistance provided by the Red Cross can be found on its website: www.redcross.ca/firesfaq.

Quick facts

  • More than 90,000 Fort McMurray and Northern Alberta residents are subject to a mandatory evacuation order due to wildfire.
  • The Government of Alberta anticipates this emergency funding will cost up to $100 million..

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