In the midst of the northern Alberta wildfires, Canadians are banding together in support of Fort McMurray. The response by charitable organizations, businesses and the public as been incredible and all in an effort to help over 80,000 people effected in the area.
JBT Transport president, Denis Medeiros, was quick to get involved by donating transportation that will bring essential items to the area through the STUFF A JBT TRUCK campaign. We are looking to Waterloo Region businesses including our partners in trucking and the public to help fill a JBT truck with donated items that are urgently needed by residents. JBT has also donated $1000 towards the purchase of items.
Click here to view the list of urgently needed items
JBT is working with the Edmonton Emergency Relief Services Society and Edmonton’s Food Bank who are assisting residents while they are evacuated and once they have reentered Fort McMurray.
It is important for businesses looking to help to partner with organizations on the ground so they can collect the right kinds of items and ensure that donations are getting to the people that need them.
JBT has also partnered with the Canadian Red Cross so we can receive financial contributions on their behalf. Individuals and businesses who provide a monetary contribution of $20 or more will receive a tax receipt from the Red Cross.
The people of Fort McMurray need help!
The Province of Alberta stated May 25 “that wildfire conditions in northeastern Alberta remained high to extreme – but of the 15 wildfires burning in the province, the only one burning out of control is in the Fort McMurray area.” CTV News. As crews continue to battle the active wildfires, it seems there is no end in sight. Ever improving weather conditions are helping responders gain ground, but more rain and less wind is needed to further combat the fire. An additional 1,000 firefighters from across Canada and the international community are coming to aid the 1,200 firefighers currently battling the blaze.
The Government of Alberta has announced a conditional timeline for voluntary and phased reentry, which is set to commence June 1. However, CBC News reported that the following conditions must be met before residents are allowed back into Fort McMurray:
That the fire is no longer “an imminent threat” to the city (and air quality is not hazardous).
That the hospital is open and able to provide basic health services.
That fire and police departments are operational, and 911 and ambulance service are restored.
That all roads are open to traffic and natural gas and electricity have been fully restored.
Supplies of potable water and food must be available, and people must have access to banks and pharmacies.
As we move closer to the first of June, emergency experts are raising safety concerns. The CBC reported that “areas are still hot and are a potential danger for house fires should the wind pick up and carry this ash into town.”
As part of the reentry plan, the government has provided a handbook to residents that suggest they bring two weeks worth of food, drinking water and N-95 respirator masks. In response, retired Fort McMurray firefighter Gareth Norris has raised the alarm bell to CBC. “Why would we need that if it was okay to come in and breathe the air? To me, that means it’s not safe. If you’re telling me to bring everything I need to camp in my home, and a dust mask, and don’t let my animals out into the ashes, and definitely not my children — then there’s an issue.”
We hope that progress is made safely but quickly so the people of Fort McMurray can start the long process of rebuilding their lives and their community. At this time, residents are still in need of assistance. Please get involved and help us STUFF A JBT TRUCK. The deadline for donations is June 30.
Click here to find out more about the program and how you can contribute!