British Colombians seeking assistance from the Red Cross face long lines and delays due to a congested phone line

British Colombians seeking assistance from the Red Cross face long lines and delays due to a congested phone line

To access these supports, evacuated British Columbians need to register with the Red Cross by calling 1-800-863-6582, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. PT. But many, like Beth Goulet-Hillier who was evacuated out of Merritt on Nov. 15, have had trouble accessing the hotline. Two of Beth Goulet-Hillier’s packed in the family vehicle. She and her family and their pets were forced to evacuate Merritt last week. (Beth Goulet-Hillier)
“I started calling two days ago,” said Goulet-Hillier.

The Red Cross says it has been inundated with requests for flood relief funding. Posted at 10:09 p.m. PT on November 25, 2021 by CBC News | It was last updated on: In the aftermath of significant flooding, volunteers empty a house in Princeton, B.C. on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. (CBC/Maggie MacPherson) Due to a high amount of calls, the Canadian Red Cross says some British Columbians may have had difficulty reaching its relief line. The Red Cross and the province of British Columbia have teamed up to donate $2,000 to British Columbians who were forced to flee their homes due to flooding from November 14 to November 16. This is in addition to the already announced Disaster Financial Assistance money.

“Sometimes it just didn’t even ring, and other times it would start ringing and just disconnect.” Goulet-Hillier said she had spent at minimum four and half hours calling the line on Wednesday. Additional funding available for British Columbians affected by floods. Melanie Nielsen evacuated the Sumas Prairie with her partner, two daughters, two dogs, a cat and some pet birds. They’re staying with friends of friends in Chilliwack but could use relief funds for food and supplies to start cleaning up and repairing their flood-ravaged home. It took her eight hours to reach the Red Cross by phone, only to leave her most basic information like her name and address. She says she still has no idea if or when she will get any relief funds.

“We are absolutely aware of this situation and we have been in contact with the Red Cross about this. I know they are working on that. I do urge people to be patient,” he said. “People should not feel they need to get on right now and if they don’t apply they’re not going to get the $2,000. There is not a cut-off date and I can tell you the Red Cross is working on that situation.” Quealey said the funds will go to anyone who was on the evacuation lists provided by Emergency Management B.C., and that generous donations from Canadians were key in making the funds available. “We’re very grateful for everyone’s contributions. It helps us with that immediate response,” he said. With files from On The Coast and Liam Britten

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