QUEEN’S PARK, TORONTO: Today Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing signed an order to activate the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians (DRAO) program for Huntsville and Bracebridge in response to the ongoing flooding in the area.
“I want to thank our terrific municipal leaders and staff and all the first responders, military reservists and volunteers who are helping those affected by the flooding,” said Norman Miller, MPP for Parry Sound-Muskoka. “I also want to thank Minister Clark for recognizing the devastating situation, working with our local officials and acting as quickly as he has to activate the DRAO program for Bracebridge and Huntsville.”
The Ministry is continuing to visit impacted communities across Parry Sound-Muskoka and around Ontario and is expected to activate the program in other communities as needed.
The DRAO program applies to a primary residence and its basic contents, or to a small business, farm or not-for-profit organization. It provides assistance to those without private insurance coverage for emergency expenses like hotel accommodations and repair or replacement of essentials like kitchen appliances and basic furniture following a natural disaster. It is important to note that this program is not intended to replace insurance and individuals should turn to their own insurance provider first.
For more information on eligibility and what the program will cover, individuals, small business owners, and not-for-profit organizations can review program guidelines available at ontario.ca/DisasterAssistance, or call 1-844-780-8925 or email firstname.lastname@example.org after speaking with their private insurance provider. Notification of this activation and maps of the areas eligible will be online later this week.
“It is heartbreaking to see the damage to people’s homes,” said Miller who has been to Bracebridge, Huntsville, Katrine and Magnetawan to see firsthand the devastation caused by the flooding and speak to local officials and residents. “Our first priority is the safety of everyone involved including residents and emergency personnel. When the floods have subsided and the danger has passed, that will be the time to rebuild and consider how we plan for increasingly extreme weather events like this in the future.”