Heavy rainfall since June 19, 2013 has resulted in the worst floods on record in southern Alberta. A state of local emergency has been declared in twenty-seven states throughout the province. Numerous evacuations have occurred in areas affected by flooding including 90,000 people evacuated in Calgary, High River, Medicine Hat and Drumheller. Flooding has caused major transportation and telecommunication infrastructure damage, power outages and water contamination. Additional flood and evacuation alerts have been issued as flood waters move east.
The Canadian Red Cross has convened coordination teams on the ground in Alberta and at their headquarters in Ottawa. To date the Canadian Red Cross has deployed 81 staff and volunteers to support the operation. The Canadian Red Cross is supporting ten shelters in the area with personnel and supplies. It is providing registration services in evacuation centers and has mobilized supplies including cots, hygiene kits, clean-up kits and blankets.
The American Red Cross has deployed nine disaster response specialists. Of these nine, six relief specialists were deployed to Calgary to support the distribution of relief supplies and three operations and coordination specialists were deployed to the Canadian Red Cross headquarters in Ottawa to support the team managing the response operation.
The American Red Cross and Canadian Red Cross have a long history of mutual disaster response support and coordination. The American Red Cross has a roster of disaster response specialists on standby, available to deploy in support of the Canadian Red Cross as needed.
The American Red Cross is also supporting the Canadian Red Cross in facilitating offers from US corporate donors to contribute to the response operation.