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Frequently asked questions

Updated January 14, 2014


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Disaster Recovery Program

» 2013 Disaster Recovery Program

Is there more information available to individuals to assist with understanding the Disaster Recovery Program?

Yes, the Government of Alberta has developed handbooks to assist in explaining the disaster recovery programs available.

Copies of these handbooks are available at the High River and Calgary DRP office.

Does the Disaster Recovery Program cover only primary homes?

Yes. Government's priority is to ensure Albertans who lost their primary home have funding to assist with repairing or rebuilding. The program does not cover vacation or secondary homes. The number to call for DRP assistance is 1-888-671-1111.

How do I apply for the Disaster Recovery Program?

The deadline to apply for the Disaster Recovery Program for June 2013 flood damage was November 30, 2013. Applications are no longer being accepted.

How much will I receive if I qualify for the Disaster Recovery Program?

There is no set amount. Support is based on your specific circumstances.

Once your evaluation has been completed and a dollar amount set, you will receive an detailed list of values for each component covered.

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If I accept funding through the Disaster Recovery Program, will I be eligible for any future support?

Albertans who live outside the flood hazard areas, which are outlined on online maps, will continue to qualify for any future Disaster Recovery programs that may affect you in the future.

If you live in the flood fringe, you will be required to put in place specific flood mitigation measures to be eligible for future flood-related assistance. Funding is available through the Disaster Recovery Program for these additional mitigation measures.

We are not encouraging people to rebuild in floodways. If you live in a floodway and choose to rebuild, you will qualify for one-time Disaster Recovery Program support. Future support will not be available.

How long do I have to apply for a flood mitigation permit?

The deadline to apply for a flood mitigation permit for repairs is March 31, 2014.

My property is half in the floodway and half in the flood fringe. Which applies, and what funding am I eligible for?

The criterion is based on the building, not the property. If the home is in the flood fringe, but the remaining property is located in the floodway, you will be classified as in the flood fringe.

If the building is in two zones, the owner elects whether to be treated as flood fringe or floodway.

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If I buy a house that was damaged by the floods, will I qualify for Disaster Recovery -Program funding to repair it?

No. Disaster Recovery Program assistance can only be provided to the person who owned the property at the time the flood damage occurred.

I am a property owner, but unable to return to my home until it is repaired/rebuilt. Does the DRP cover the cost of interim accommodation rental?

Property owners were able to apply for interim accommodation rental reimbursement through the Disaster Recovery Program up until November 30, 2014. Applications are no longer being accepted.

Once I submit my application, how long will it take before I receive my cheque?

It is a priority to issue advance payment cheques as quickly as possible. Any cheques that are delayed are most likely the result of an incomplete application or missing documentation. We are working directly with individuals with incomplete applications. Many applicants deferred their advances until they have complete evaluation or repairs required.

If you are an applicant who has not yet received your funds, please call the DRP at 1-888-671-1111.

How does the review process for applications work?

If you have applied for the Disaster Recovery Program and you are concerned about your assessment, you can request a formal review of your file. Details on the process and the information required for the application review are available online.

Submitting a request for review does not guarantee approval. All decisions are based on information considered by the Director, and the current Disaster Recovery Regulation and Disaster Assistance Guidelines.

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Mobile homes

How will mobile home owners with flood damage be compensated?

Eligible applicants will receive either the cost of replacing the mobile homes at a rate of $65 per square foot, or the cost of repairs — whichever is lower. In the case of replacements, square footage will be based on living space measurements only, including the original mobile home unit and heated additions. Decks are not eligible. Unique situations, such as mobile homes declared Not Fit for Habitation (NFH) may require additional consideration.

Is the government offering to purchase mobile homes damaged by the flood?

No. The Disaster Recovery Program is not purchasing the mobile home; it's providing assistance for repair or replacement. The owner remains responsible for all legal responsibilities regarding the lease.

Who is responsible for assessing the damaged mobile homes?

Once the applicant completes their application and submits it to the Disaster Recovery Program, a Disaster Recovery Program evaluator with mobile home expertise will provide the estimate on the cost to repair the mobile home. That cost will be compared to the cost of replacement at a rate of $65 per square foot. Whichever amount is the lower is what the mobile homeowner will receive.

If I am replacing my mobile home, what is covered over and above the square footage calculation?

All appliances normally included in the purchase of the mobile home, such as fridges, stoves, and built-in dishwaters, would be considered part of replacement funds provided.

Additional compensation is also available to cover the cost of eligible personal belongings lost or damaged by the flood, including washers and dryers.

Will the government cover the cost of demolition?

Yes. Compensation for demolition where necessary will be paid over and above the square footage calculation.

Where do I apply?

The deadline to apply for the Disaster Recovery Program was November 30, 2013. Applications are no longer being accepted.

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Evaluators, Engineers and Evaluations

Who decides if a building is repairable? What if I disagree with the assessment of my home?

All homes in impacted communities are being evaluated as part of the Disaster Recovery Program by evaluators contracted by the Province. If your home has not yet been evaluated, please call 1-888-671-1111.

If you disagree with the assessed cost of repairs, The Disaster Recovery Program has an application review process. For more information on how to request an application review, visit http://alberta.ca/2013DisasterRecoveryPrograms.cfm.

Are DRP evaluators rewarded if they deny coverage to people making a claim?

No. Our evaluators work to provide as much coverage as possible under the program guidelines. The DRP has an application review process to assess discrepancies between property owners and evaluators. For more information on how to request an application review, visit http://alturl.com/qn663.

I had a private engineer assess the damage to the structure of my home before a DRP engineer looked at it. Why did the DRP engineer indicate I would not be covered for some of the issues the engineer I hired pointed out?

Disaster Recovery Program funds cover only structural damage caused by the June floods. The engineers sent out by the Disaster Recovery Program are trained to recognize and differentiate between pre-existing structural damage and structural damage caused by flooding.

DRP funds covers only structural damage caused by the June floods. The engineers sent out by the DRP are trained to recognize and differentiate between pre-existing structural damage and strucutal damage caused by flooding.

If there is a dispute, the DRP has an application review process (PDF).

The quote from my contractor to repair my home is higher than the estimate received from DRP. What should I do?

Please contact the DRP at 1-888-671-1111 to discuss your concern with a program representative.

What's the difference between a program evaluator and a program engineer?

A Disaster Recovery Program evaluator will visit your home to conduct an inventory following the submission of your Disaster Recovery Program application. The Disaster Recovery Program engineer will only be called in the event of structural damage.

Can I get a copy of my DRP engineering report?

If the DRP contracts an engineer to assess your property, you will receive a detailed summary report. You may submit a written request to the DRP for a full version of the report.

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Mitigation Plans

Flood events like the one Alberta experienced in June 2013 are natural occurrences and cannot be prevented. We can, however, mitigate against the impacts of future floods.

What type of mitigation efforts will be undertaken?

The province has outlined seven elements of mitigation: Watershed management, flood modelling and warning systems, risk management policies, water management and mitigation infrastructure, and erosion control as well as local initiatives, and individual initiatives undertaken at the municipal level. This multi-layered approach will provide layers of resiliency against future floods and best protect Albertans.

What mitigation work is being done right now?

The province has taken many steps to mitigate against future floods, including: introducing legislation to limit development in the floodway; provide financial assistance to home property owners who choose to move out of the floodway; putting more than $116 million towards erosion control projects across the province, many of which are already underway; provide direction for individuals and municipalities to undertake local mitigation and update flood hazard mapping. The first major mitigation projects were announced on November 21, 2013 and include a diversion on the Highwood River and a dry dam on the Elbow River upstream from Calgary. The next step for these projects will be stakeholder consultations and environmental review.

What is involved in these mitigation projects?

The Highwood River diversion will be approximately 7km long and vary between 40m and 200m. It will divert water around the north-west of High River in the event of a flood, through a final route that has not yet been chosen.

The Elbow River dry dam is proposed to be built around Quirk Creek, and preliminary designs have it roughly 40m tall. The temporary storage capacity will be roughly 44 million cubic metres. The purpose of the dam will be to reduce the flow of water into the Glenmore Reservoir during flood conditions.

When will these large-scale mitigation projects be finished and how much do they cost?

Large-scale mitigation projects need to be carefully considered as they pose significant engineering challenges and environmental impacts. Each project will include stakeholder consultation, public consultation and assessment of engineering options and environmental impacts. Definitive timelines and budgets will be provided following consultation and assessment.

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Minimum individual flood mitigation measures for flood fringe owners

(This section does not apply to total rebuilds.)

What does "flood mitigation" mean?

Flood mitigation refers to the steps anyone, including property owners, communities and municipalities can take to minimize impact in the event of a future flood. Read more on the Flood Mitigation page.

What is the difference between flood proofing and flood mitigation?

It is not possible to flood proof any building or structure. Flood mitigation includes steps and procedures to reduce or minimize damage and impact in the event of a future flood.

Who is eligible for flood mitigation support?

Flood mitigation measures apply to you if you:

  • own property in a flood fringe area
  • had damage caused by the June 2013 floods and
  • applied and were eligible for the 2013 Disaster Recovery Program in southern Alberta or Wood Buffalo

How long do I have to apply for a flood mitigation permit?

The new deadline to apply for municipal work permits for flood mitigation is March 31, 2014.

Why was the deadline to apply for a flood mitigation permit extended?

As we approached the previous deadline of December 30, 2013, it became clear that many property owners were unable to obtain the required work permits due to factors beyond their control. This includes waiting for contractors, winter causing delays in construction, and deciding the extent of the mitigation necessary and if it would be more suitable to demolish and rebuild.

Is it mandatory for all flood fringe property owners to mitigate?

While all property owners are strongly encouraged to apply flood mitigation efforts, it's not mandatory; however, property owners who received DRP assistance and do not implement at least minimum mitigation efforts will not be eligible for future flood-related support.

Is there a reason why most flood mitigation efforts are applied in basements?

Yes. Flood mitigation efforts are focused in basements because typically, this is where the most damage in a flood occurs.

What are the minimum individual flood mitigation measures required to qualify for future Disaster Recovery Program assistance?

These measures are in place to help Albertans, including small businesses and registered not-for-profits, that own property in a flood fringe area minimize future damage. All of the measures relate to basements, where flood damage is most likely to occur.

Property owners and small businesses located in the flood fringe must follow the minimum flood mitigation measures to be eligible for DRP funding.

More information is available in the Building Code Bulletin — STANDATA (August 15, 2013) — Update: Disaster Recovery Program Flood Mitigation Measures . Specific questions about building materials and permits that will meet the minimum flood mitigation measures for homes in a flood fringe can be directed to the Alberta Municipal Affairs Safety Services Branch at 1-866-421-6929.

There are four minimum flood mitigation measures. They include:

  • In order to minimize moisture damage and/or allow for easy disposal of flood-damaged materials, owners are required to have moisture resistant flooring, and have the choice to:
    • leave the basement unfinished;
    • use cleanable and moisture resistant materials; or
    • use disposable materials that will allow for easy repair. This includes materials such as drywall, fibreglass batt insulation, carpet, untreated studs and non-metal doors.
  • The well-being of Albertans can be protected by providing a safe way to disconnect power in the event of a flood without having to access the basement and risk standing in water. Another consideration is to supply power to equipment safely to assist with repairs following a flood, such as electric water pumps and fans.
    Options include but are not limited to:
    • re-location of the main electrical panel so it is not located in the basement;
    • installing a disconnect switch that is weather proof and secure on the outside of the building; and
    • installing a service panel in the garage and feed the house as a subpanel.
  • Seal openings around piping, wiring and conduits to prevent minimize water seepage.
  • To protect against sewer back-up, install backflow prevention devices.

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How do I know if I have adequately mitigated my property?

When you are making repairs, it is important you obtain the safety codes permits required by your local municipality and that the work is inspected afterwards. The inspection will be needed to prove the mitigations standards have been met.

What if I can't afford to pay for repairs?

Contact a DRP Coordinator at one of our offices or by phone to discuss your situation. Alternate arrangements may be possible.

How can I go about hiring someone to make these changes to my home or business?

Working with a qualified, professional business or independent contractor is critical to ensuring your home renovations will be done properly and the business-client relationship is satisfactory. At ServiceAlberta.ca you can find helpful tips before hiring a home inspector to check the condition of your house or hiring a contractor to help repair or rebuild.

If I am not putting the minimum individual flood mitigation measures in place, do I need to have repairs inspected?

Even if you are not putting the minimum flood mitigation measures in place, you need to have any work that normally requires a permit inspected.

In some cases, if you are applying to the 2013 Disaster Recovery Program, you may need to save receipts and/or demonstrate that the work was completed (with an inspection report, for example) to receive final payments.

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If the work is done incorrectly, am I ineligible for future flood-related assistance?

If the work is done incorrectly and fails to meet the minimum flood mitigation measures, your property will not be eligible for future assistance. This is why you or your contractors should apply for the appropriate permits before work begins. By doing this, the work will be inspected during and after construction to ensure all work is done properly.

The minimum individual flood mitigation measures must pass the final inspection in order for the property to be eligible for future Disaster Recovery Program assistance.

How can condo owners and condo associations meet the requirements for minimum personal mitigation?

Condo owners and condo associations are each required to complete the mitigation measures within their control and may need to work together to do so. For condominiums in the flood fringe where a DRP caveat is in question, please refer to questions 93 and 94 in this document for further information.

I have a walk-out basement. Do the minimum individual mitigation measures apply to me?

The minimum individual mitigation measures apply to walk-out basements.

I already finished repairs before I was aware of the required minimum individual flood mitigation measures, will I get reimbursed for the work I need to undo now?

Yes, if you have started repairs and have to re-do them to meet the minimum individual flood mitigation measures, the Disaster Recovery Program will pay for both.

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I had already put measures in place to protect my home. Do I have to do more?

If you already meet the minimum mitigation measure requirements no additional work needs to be done. If you do require some additional measures to be put in place, funding support is available.

If I live or own a business in the floodway will I get money to mitigate?

No, mitigation funding is only available in the flood fringe. If you live in a floodway, you will be eligible for relocation funding.

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Relocation options for residential property owners

Who qualifies for relocation assistance?

Only those residential property owners whose homes (buildings) are in the floodway of a southern Alberta community affected by the floods qualify for relocation assistance.

What will happen if I applied for relocation before the November 30th deadline and I change my mind? Will I be forced to go through with the relocation?

All property owners eligible for relocation or who were considering relocation were required to submit an application before November 30, 2013. Applications do not obligate the property owner to sell their home. A formal agreement to sell will be required.

Can I retain ownership of my current house and move it to a new location?

If you are interested in taking the relocation assistance, but want to retain ownership of your current home, please ensure this is included on your DRP application.

Because relocation assistance is based on 100 per cent of the 2013 municipal tax assessed value of the property (including land and home), compensation will be reduced by an amount reflecting the value of the home. The homeowner is responsible for the costs of moving the home to a new location. How this will work for individuals will be discussed on a case-by-case basis.

Why is relocation compensation based on tax assessments and not fair market value from before the flood?

Tax assessments incorporate market value. It is a fair and equal way to establish value for all property owners. The values are already established by municipalities and will enable property owners and government to work through the relocation process as quickly as possible. Timely resolution will allow all concerned to begin the longer-term recovery process.

How soon will I get relocation compensation once I apply?

This will depend on a number of factors, including how quickly you want to relocate or find a place to move to. The goal is to make this process as quick and simple for you as possible.

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I don't want to relocate out of a floodway. Will I still be covered?

You have a choice. If you decide you do not want to relocate from a floodway, you will be covered by the Disaster Recovery Program to repair or rebuild your home to a functional, basic level of finish. However, this will be one-time coverage. If you choose to stay in the floodway and rebuild using Disaster Recovery money you will not qualify for assistance in the event of another flood. If you choose to stay in the floodway and do not access Disaster Recovery Program funding, you will be eligible for one-time assistance in the event of a future flood.

How much is relocation compensation going to cost taxpayers?

Development in floodways is dangerous and represents an ongoing risk to all taxpayers. We won't know how much the total cost to taxpayers will be until we know how many floodway property owners choose to relocate. Under this policy, approximately 250 homes are eligible for relocation compensation. If all eligible property owners choose to relocate, it could cost as much as $175 million.

Why is government spending taxpayer money on relocation compensation instead of investing that money in community protection, like building canals or dykes?

The floodway is the most dangerous part of the overall flood-hazard zone and the area most likely to be damaged in future floods. Relocation is just one step in protecting communities and larger protection systems may be considered by government in the future.

Given the unprecedented amount of damage caused by this disaster, it is prudent to take these steps while we are still in the recovery phase as opposed to later, when homes are already repaired or rebuilt.

If I decide to stay in the floodway, I'm worried that this policy will drive the property values in my neighbourhood down. Why are you doing this?

We can no longer continue to allow floodway development in the same way as in years past. Floodway development is dangerous for residents and represents an ongoing risk to all taxpayers.

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If I accept relocation compensation, what will happen to my home?

If you accept relocation compensation, government will own the property and will examine the next steps that need to be taken, including potential demolition of the home, remediation of the land, or sale of the building for relocation to another property.

Will the province own the land, or will it be turned over to the municipality?

The Government of Alberta will own the property paid for under the relocation program for the immediate future.

The Government of Alberta will continue to hold the land to determine if it is potentially needed in the future for any mitigation projects that may be undertaken.

What about commercial properties in the floodway, or non-profits such as churches? Will they be eligible for relocation payments under this program?

No, this program is restricted to residential properties.

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How will relocation compensation apply to homes on First Nations Reserves?

Work is still being done to assess options for relocation within First Nations. Government has committed to helping First Nations communities, and to providing the same assistance as is available to other Albertans. However, a voluntary provincial buy-out of land is not possible for First Nations communities as the province can't own land on reserves. The government is working with the federal government and First Nations to develop options for these communities.

Is relocation compensation available for renters?

No, this program only applies to residential property owners in a floodway.

Is relocation compensation available for owners of shared property such as duplexes, fourplexes, row houses and condominiums?

Yes. Generally relocation compensation is available for owners of shared property, but there are many unique factors that must be considered. Please indicate on your Disaster Recovery Program application that you are interested in relocation and your case will be considered.

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Drumheller/Fort McMurray Development

Why are these communities allowed to continue to develop in the floodway?

Both Drumheller and Fort McMurray are unique as large portions of the communities are located in floodways. It would be fiscally unreasonable to move entire urban areas or not to allow future development.

Both Drumheller and Fort McMurray are required to ensure appropriate mitigation measures are in place to protect against future 1-in-100 floods. The Town of Drumheller currently has development policies in place through its land use bylaw that restricts development in flood risk areas. The Municipality of Wood Buffalo is preparing a special bylaw to provide for greater flood protection in the city centre.

The Alberta government will work with these municipalities to develop projects that consider the safety and growth of these communities.

As a resident of Drumheller or Fort McMurray, what does this mean to me?

If you were affected by the June floods, you are eligible for Disaster Recovery Program assistance to repair/rebuild. You will need to comply with any flood mitigation measures required by your community's bylaws.

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Land titles

How will future buyers know whether a property is in the flood hazard area and if it will qualify for future Disaster Recovery Program support

Future property buyers can check the property on the flood hazard mapping website. In addition, the Government of Alberta will work with the real estate sector to share flood mapping information with prospective buyers.

If a property that received Disaster Recovery Program funding following the recent floods is repaired, restored or rebuilt in a floodway or if the minimum mitigation measures in the flood fringe are not met, a notice will stay on the land title stating that funding was received and the property will not be eligible for future flood-related disaster program funding. This "DRP notice" may be added to the land titles of both residential and non-residential properties.

Why is the notice important?

The DRP notice informs future buyers the property will not be eligible for DRP assistance if a future flood occurs. Absence of the DRP notice will indicate that the property is eligible for future flood-related DRP funding.

If I accept Disaster Recovery Program funding, will that go on my Land Title?

A Disaster Recovery Program funding notice indicates disaster recovery funding has been received as a result of the 2013 southern Alberta or Wood Buffalo floods. The Disaster Recovery Program notice is the only notice being placed on land titles as a result of the recent flooding.

For floodway properties, the notice is placed on a land title after a homeowner receives Disaster Recovery assistance.

For flood fringe properties, the notice will not be put on the land title if the required mitigation is completed in a timely fashion. Owners in the flood fringe are expected to secure permits for the mitigation work by March 31, 2014 and to complete the mitigation work by December 31, 2014. If property owners are still unable to obtain work permit by the deadline, a letter of intent to perform mitigation sent to the DRP will be sufficient. In this case, permits must still be obtained to begin work. Only owners who are not able to provide documentation (i.e. inspection reports) of completed work following the December 31, 2014 deadline, or when their DRP file is formally closed, will have a notice placed on their title.

Property owners in the floodway or flood fringe who received an advanced Disaster Recovery Program payment may return the payment if they wish to avoid the Disaster Recovery Program notice.

When will the Disaster Recovery Program notice on the land title be removed?

If a Disaster Recovery Program notice is put on a flood fringe property and mitigation is later completed, the notice will be removed when an inspection report from a safety codes officer proves the mitigation standards have been met.

If a property is located in a floodway and received Disaster Recovery Program funding as a result of damages caused by the recent floods, the Disaster Recovery Program funding notice remains on the land title so that future homebuyers are aware the property is not eligible for future provincial program funding.

If your property is located outside of the floodway or flood fringe, will a Disaster Recovery Program notice be place on your Land Title?

No. If your property is located outside the floodway and flood fringe, a DRP notice will not be placed on the land title. You are able to access DRP assistance as a result of damages from this flood event and you will still be eligible for future DRP funding. You are not required to mitigate in order to be eligible for future DRP funding. All property owners are encouraged, however, to take steps to protect their properties from the risk of future flooding.

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Can the DRP notice be removed from floodway properties?

If a property is located in a floodway, and received DRP funding as a result of damages caused by the 2013 floods, the DRP funding notice remains on the land title, so future homebuyers are aware the property is not eligible for future provincial program funding if a flood occurs. Floodway owners may want to consider relocating. More information will be available about this option soon.

Does receiving the pre-loaded debit cards to me when I evacuated count as accessing Disaster Recovery Program funding? Does this mean a notice will be placed on my Land Titles?

No. The debit cards were not related to the Disaster Recovery Program. They were emergency funds for evacuees to use for day-to-day costs like food, hotels, and other personal items. The Disaster Recovery Program is for people who had un-insurable property damage because of the flooding. Property owners will not have a notice on their land title because they received a debit card.

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How are common/shared spaces, such as those in condominium buildings, handled as part of the Disaster Recovery Program caveat that goes onto the land title?

Condominium associations and individual condo owners may each be eligible to apply for disaster recovery program assistance if they were damaged in the 2013 flooding.

For condo buildings located in the floodway or flood fringe, a Disaster Recovery Program caveat will be placed as follows: if the condo association applied, the caveat will be included in an additional "data sheet" added to the Condominium Plan registered at Land Titles. If an individual condo owner applied, the caveat will be placed on the land title of the unit.

For condominium buildings located in the flood fringe, the Disaster Recovery Program caveat on both the "Plan Sheet" and the individual unit titles will be discharged or removed when the minimum mitigation measures are complete.

If you, as an association have completed all mitigation measures in your control but a unit owner has not completed the mitigation measures in their control, you can complete a declaration stating mitigation measures are incomplete. The data sheet containing the Disaster Recovery Program caveat will be removed from the association's Condominium Plan if all steps within the association's control are completed. The same is true for individual unit holders.

How can I get the Disaster Recovery Program caveat removed from my unit title if my condominium association has not allowed me to complete all four of the minimum mitigation measures? Eg: moving the electrical panel.

If you, as a condo owner, completed every flood mitigation measure under your control, but cannot get the condominium association to complete or consent to the rest, you can sign a declaration explaining why you are unable to complete the remaining mitigation measures. This declaration will be attached to your safety codes inspection permit and will be sufficient to have the caveat removed from the title. If you are a condo owner and have further questions, contact the Disaster Recovery Program at 1-888-671-1111.

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Basic level of finish for total rebuilds

What do you mean by a basic level of finish?

The DRP funds basic level finishes. Examples include:

  • vinyl siding
  • asphalt shingles
  • mid- to high-efficiency furnace
  • vinyl flooring
  • basic quality carpet
  • basic quality cabinets and laminate counter tops
  • standard finishing throughout including baseboards, closet doors, doors and towel racks.

In most new homes, builders offer hardwood floors and granite countertops as standard products. Will these be covered?

No. We understand that with some home builders these are standard products. However, these products are of higher quality than the basic level finishes covered through the Disaster Recovery Program.

My neighbourhood has architectural controls that are beyond a basic level of finish. Will these costs be covered by DRP?

The government recognizes that some neighbourhoods have architectural controls such as exterior finishes and fences that are above the basic level of finish. Where these architectural controls form part of a municipal bylaw or are required by code, Disaster Recovery Program will provide funding towards these costs.

If I want the upgrades I had in my home prior to the flood, does it come out of my pocket?

The Disaster Recovery Program can work in conjunction with any applicable home insurance; you will need to talk with your insurers about whether you have coverage for enhancements beyond the basic level of finish. If insurance does not cover these additional costs, it is up to you to determine whether you are willing to pay out-of-pocket for the upgrades.

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What are the enhanced flood mitigation measures for total rebuilds?

For homes and properties owned by small businesses and not-for-profits that are being totally rebuilt, as a result of the June 2013 floods, the province will fund additional flood mitigation measures that will help protect the structure from flood damage. Details of the enhanced flood mitigation measures are available in the Building Code Bulletin — STANDATA (September 19, 2013) — Disaster Recovery Program Flood Mitigation Measures for Homes Being Rebuilt.

The new measures for total rebuilds include:

  1. Furnaces above flood level
  2. Hot water heaters above flood level
  3. Electrical service box/panel boards above flood level
  4. Isolating basement circuits
  5. Outside service disconnect
  6. Installing weeping tiles on either the interior or exterior of the structure
  7. Installing sump pumps on either the interior or exterior of the structure
  8. Securing propane tanks
  9. Using easily disposable or water-resistant building materials in basement
  10. Changing to exterior basement insulation
  11. Disconnecting downspouts and foundation drains from sewers
  12. Installing protective plumbing such as backflow prevention valves.
  13. Limiting foundation openings
  14. Elevating ventilation system

Who is eligible for enhanced flood mitigation measures?

Enhanced flood mitigation measures apply to you if you own a home or small business that was damaged by the flooding cannot be repaired and qualifies for total rebuild from the Disaster Recovery Program, as determined by provincial evaluators. If your home or small business has not yet been evaluated, please call 1-888-671-1111.

Why is funding for enhanced flood mitigation measures not available to all Disaster Recovery Program recipients?

Many of the enhanced flood mitigation measures would require substantial alterations to the home or building. While there are minimal or no obstacles to implementing the measures for a new building, incorporating these measures in an existing building is likely to be cost prohibitive and may not be practical.

I'm worried about a property in my neighbourhood. I haven't seen the owners since the flood, and the condition of the building is creating a safety issue. What can I do?

If you see properties in unsafe conditions and the owners are not present, report the property to your municipality.

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New temporary neighbourhoods

What is a new temporary neighbourhood?

The new temporary neighbourhoods provide short-term housing for Albertans who are unable to return home due to the flood. The temporary units can accommodate singles, couples and families. The new temporary neighbourhoods are a family-friendly community environment developed with accessibility to essential services and amenities.

Where are the new temporary neighbourhoods located?

The new temporary neighbourhoods are located near High River, within the City of Calgary and on the Siksika First Nation.

When will the new temporary neighbourhoods be ready for residents to move in?

People moved into High River's Saddlebrook neighbourhood on July 24 and into Calgary's Great Plains neighbourhood on October 15.

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Is it mandatory for evacuees to live in one of the new temporary neighbourhoods?

No. Any eligible resident may choose not to live in a new temporary neighbourhood and make their own housing arrangements. Some expenses, including private accommodation rent may have been eligible under the Disaster Recovery Program.

What will it cost me to live in this temporary housing?

Rental rates may be implemented in the future. To date, flood evacuated Albertans have received cost-free housing assistance through the Disaster Recovery Program, dormitory, hotel and new temporary neighbourhood arrangements to allow an appropriate amount of time to sort out affairs, including insurance and future housing arrangements. It is expected residents will move back to their home once their primary residence is available.

How long can people stay in the temporary neighbourhoods?

People can stay in the temporary housing for as long as there is demonstrated need. It is expected once the primary residence is either remediated or rebuilt and deemed available for occupancy, people will move back to their home.

How much does it cost to run and maintain the temporary neighbourhoods?

It costs approximately $150 per person/day to operate the new temporary neighbourhoods. The Alberta government has worked with industry to secure the land and units. Costs include having the supplier provide set-up, removal, and operation of the sites.

Is the cost of development and operation of the new temporary neighbourhoods paid solely by the provincial government or are the municipalities helping to pay for anything?

New temporary neighbourhoods are initially covered by the Alberta government and where eligible, costs will be shared with the federal government.

What happens to the housing units when the neighbourhoods are not needed? What happens to the land?

The new temporary neighbourhood will be removed and the land will be restored to its previous state.

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Temporary neighbourhood rent policy

When will residents start paying rent in a temporary neighbourhood and how much will they pay?

Rent was charged starting November 15, 2013. Rates, which can be viewed at http://alberta.ca/rental-rates-temp-neighbourhoods.cfm, are based on the number of adults and children in the family and are the same as income support rates provided to low-income Albertans for basic shelter, food, personal and household needs. For example:

  • One adult pays $627/month
  • Two adults pay $956/month
  • One adult, one child pay $933/month
  • Two adults, two children pay $1,217/month

How do residents pay? Who collects the rent?

The housing management body handling tenant relations in the temporary neighbourhood collects the rent. Rent is due on the first of every month.

How were the rents calculated for temporary neighbourhoods?

The Alberta government used the standard rate provided to low-income Albertans to cover their costs of food and shelter (core income support rates) to determine the rental rates for Albertans living in temporary neighbourhoods. Rental rates represent less than 10 per cent of total costs to provide the services in the temporary neighbourhoods.

What do the rental rates cover?

The rates cover your accommodations, utilities, meals, daily housekeeping, laundry, internet, cable television and recreational services.

Isn't rent supposed to be free in a temporary neighbourhood for 90 days?

Flood victims have been provided free emergency housing in various forms (hotels, dormitories, temporary neighbourhoods) since June 20, 2013. That's more than 120 days. That is why hotel and temporary neighbourhood accommodations will be free of charge until November 14, 2013.

What if residents can't afford the rent?

Albertans may discuss their situation with Alberta Works staff to find out if they are eligible for income support. They can call 1-877-644-9992 to find out more.

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Can low-income Albertans and seniors afford paying rent in the temporary neighbourhoods?

When calculating the cost of the rent, every effort was made to ensure the cost was affordable. The rental rates include food and amenities. With a rental rate of $627 per month per person, over $900 of disposable income remains after rental expenses for minimum wage earners, AISH recipients and seniors.

Will people who own their own homes also be charged rent?

Property owners residing in a new temporary neighbourhood who have an active Disaster Recovery Program file will be asked to sign a Statutory Declaration each month indicating they are actively working on their primary residence, and their rent will not need to be paid (they will receive a "No Rent Receivable" receipt). If a homeowner stops work on their primary residence or does not sign the Statutory Declaration, they will be expected to pay rent.

Will people who are still living in hotels be charged for their temporary accommodation?

Temporary and/or emergency accommodations for flood victims will continue to be provided at no cost until they are offered a unit in a temporary neighbourhood. We recognize some people have unique circumstances, including accessibility needs, and they will continue to be supported until an appropriate unit or arrangement becomes available.

Those who decline a temporary neighbourhood unit offered by the Alberta government, you will become responsible for their own accommodation costs, including remaining in a hotel.

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Small Business and Not-For-Profit Organizations

How long do I have to apply for Disaster Recovery Program assistance as a small business or not-for-profit?

The deadline to apply for Disaster Recovery Program assistance as a small business was November 30, 2013. Applications are no longer being accepted.

As a landlord, do I qualify for assistance?

There were multiple programs available for landlords provided they met the criteria for small businesses. The deadline to apply was November 30, 2013. Applications are no longer being accepted.

Do DRP notices ("caveats") go on properties owned by small businesses or not-for-profit organizations?

Yes. All properties in the flood hazard areas for which the owner has received DRP assistance may have a DRP notice added to their land title. This notice helps to ensure future buyers are aware of a property's eligibility for future DRP assistance.

For all properties in the flood fringe, owners can avoid or remove the caveat by completing the minimum mitigation measures. Funding from DRP is available to complete these mitigation measures. For properties in the floodway, the DRP notice will remain on the title, to signal that the property will not be eligible for future flood-related DRP assistance.

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Loan Guarantee and Interest Rebate Programs

What is government's plan for small businesses, agricultural producers and not for-profit organizations impacted by the floods?

The government has introduced new programs to help small businesses and not-for-profits impacted by the floods get back on their feet.

The Hand-up Plan consists of two programs:

  • The Alberta Flood Recovery Loan Guarantee Program available through participating financial institutions and the AFSC Alberta Flood Recovery Loan Program delivered by Agricultural Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) will provide low-interest loans up to $1 million.
  • The Alberta Flood Recovery Interest Rebate Program provides rebates of 4% interest to those participating in the Alberta Flood Recovery Loan Guarantee Program and the AFSC Alberta Flood Recovery Loan Program.

The government has also introduced the Small Business Rebuilding Program to help businesses affected by flooding if they have 21 to 50 full-time employees (FTEs). These programs are in addition to the Disaster Recovery Program already underway. Other plans to help small businesses recover are being considered.

Why are these programs being offered?

More than 1,500 small businesses were impacted by the floods. They are an integral part of our economy and they need a "hand-up" to get back on their feet. A speedy recovery is an important part of Alberta's rebuilding plan, ensuring the province's economy remains strong and sustainable in the long run. Additionally, the approximately 400 affected not-for-profits have and will continue to play a vital role in helping communities recover.

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Hand-up Plan

What are the eligibility requirements?

  • must be a registered business (sole proprietorship, partnership, an Alberta Registered Company or association) or a registered not-for-profit society that:
    • operated within High River, or
    • for businesses outside of High River, operated within the flood affected area (same area as considered under the Disaster Recovery Program) and are able to demonstrate proof of loss.
  • have proof of submission of a Disaster Recovery Program or insurance claim and proof that the business was operating in the flood affected area at the time of the flooding.
  • must have filed a 2012 income tax return and, in the case of not-for-profit organizations, must also be registered.
  • have gross revenues between $6,000 and $15 million for businesses.
  • loan proceeds are to be devoted to re-establish/rebuild the business or organization.
  • statutory declarations may be used as evidence for some program eligibility criteria.

Are First Nations enterprises eligible?

Yes. First Nations enterprises are eligible.

Are self-employed contractors eligible?

Yes. Self-employed contractors are eligible, if they meet the eligibility requirements.

Are small businesses located in the Regional Municipality for Wood Buffalo eligible?

Yes. Small businesses and not-for-profits located in the Regional Municipality for Wood Buffalo are eligible, if the business or not-for-profit meets the eligibility requirements.

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Are businesses with revenues of more than $15 million eligible?

No. Revenues of this magnitude do not fit the definition of a small business.

I have a business in a community that was not flooded, but my operations were impacted. Am I eligible?

The Small Business Recovery Program is not designed to cover indirect impacts of the flood. To be eligible, the applicant must have a business or operation (e.g. job site) in the flood zone, and meet the other eligibility requirements of the Disaster Recovery Program (with the exception of FTEs, as the Small Business Recovery Program covers small businesses with 21-50 FTEs).

How do I confirm I am in a flood affected area?

The flood affected area is any community affected by the 2013 floods. This is different from the "flood hazard area" which is a technical term defined by the flood hazard maps. You do not have to be in the flood hazard area to qualify for small business support.

Small business owners should apply to the program if:

  • your small business was impacted by the June 2013 floods in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo or Southern Alberta;
  • you have already applied to the 2013 Disaster Recovery Program; and/or
  • you have submitted an insurance claim related to the flooding.

How long will applications be accepted?

We are currently accepting applications, and will do so until June 30, 2014. Extending the original deadline from December 31, 2013 until June 30, 2014 will enable businesses to take advantage of programs once they have a better understanding of their needs and the future business climate in their region. The extended deadline will give these organizations the time to properly determine and apply for the support they need to help their businesses recover.

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Who will pay for these programs?

The Government of Alberta is guaranteeing 75 per cent of all loans under the Alberta Flood Recovery Loan Guarantee Program. Government is bearing the full cost of the Alberta Flood Recovery Interest Rebate Program.

What is the total cost of these programs?

The Alberta Flood Recovery Loan Guarantee Program will cost about $21 million with an additional $450,000 to administer the program. The Alberta Flood Recovery Interest Rebate Program will cost about $48 million to cover the cost of the program and an additional $1.38 million to administer the program.

Why is government partnering with financial institutions to offer these programs?

Financial institutions know their clients best. Prior relationships, including the financial history of an eligible business, will help speed up the process.

How does the Alberta Flood Recovery Loan Guarantee Program work?

Eligible businesses and not-for-profit organizations must apply directly to their financial institution or Agricultural Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) for a loan up to $1 million under this program. For more information on how to apply contact your financial institution directly or visit the AFSC web page.

Particulars include:

  • all loans will have a 75 per cent guarantee from the province through AFSC
  • applicants can apply now until December 31, 2013. Lenders will need to apply for the guarantee by January 31, 2014
  • the specific loan guarantee will cover the lender for a period up to 5 years from issuance
  • lenders would provide demand loans up to $1 million per borrower as determined by each lender's standard procedures, with demonstrated proof of loss from the flood
  • both new loans and existing loans that are being refinanced will be eligible under this program
  • the specific guarantee will be provided to the lender without cost
  • the lender will be responsible to take adequate security, based on a maximum of 80 per cent loan to value, as well as personal guarantees from shareholders, in accordance with their standard practices, with interest charged by the lenders capped at commercial prime plus one per cent. Where appropriate, assignment of insurance proceeds or DRP proceeds will be considered.
  • the lender will determine the amortization period, in accordance with their own standards, subject to a maximum of 20 years for land and buildings, a maximum of seven years (or life expectancy of the assets) for equipment, and a maximum of 3years for working capital assets.

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How soon will businesses receive their loans?

Financial institutions are aware of the importance of providing these loans as quickly as possible. Each situation will be unique.

How does the Alberta Flood Recovery Interest Rebate Program work?

Businesses that have taken out loans under the Alberta Flood Recovery Loan Guarantee Program or the AFSC Alberta Flood Recovery Loan Program are eligible for an interest rebate.

For more information or an application form, visit www.afsc.ca.

Particulars include:

  • participation in the Alberta Flood Recovery Loan Guarantee Program or the AFSC Alberta Flood Recovery Loan Program is required to be eligible for the interest rebate program.
  • the rebate will be at 4 per cent interest, up to an aggregate of $1 million in outstanding loans per entity.
  • rebates are subject to applicant's loans remaining in good standing with their lender.
  • applicants can choose a date between July 2013 and December 2013 at which their 24-month rebate period commences.
  • new loans, up to an aggregate of $1 million, can be added at any time, but will only receive the rebate for the remaining portion of their 24-month period.
  • borrowers will submit rebate requests with evidence of debt (loan statements indicating opening monthly balance) with a signed declaration from the applicant confirming their loans remain in good standing with their lender.
  • rebates will be sent directly to the applicant from the province and are not assignable.
  • rebates received under the program will incur a taxable benefit.

How quickly can businesses get their rebates?

The rebates will be based on three month periods with the first eligible period being July 1 to September 30, 2013. Cheques will be mailed directly to the applicant within two weeks of receipt of all required information. For more specific information, visit www.afsc.ca.

Are AFSC loans different from loans from financial institutions?

There are some minor differences. As a crown corporation, AFSC cannot lend to non-profit organizations; businesses where the sole source of income is from government sources and energy exploration companies for down-hole exploration purposes.

AFSC has some unique loans for value added business that have a better interest rate than prime plus 1 per cent. Am I eligible to take that type of loan and get the interest rebate?

No. AFSC Farm, Value Added and Commercial loans are available to eligible businesses at any time. To qualify for interest rebate, you must first qualify for the Alberta Flood Recovery Loan Program.

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Are AFSC loans eligible for the interest rebate?

Yes, the AFSC Alberta Flood Recovery Loan Program is eligible for the interest rebate.

How do I apply for an AFSC loan?

Options include visiting an AFSC Branch Office or calling 1-877-899-2372. For more details, including branch locations visit www.afsc.ca.

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Small Business Rebuilding Program

How is the Small Business Rebuilding Program different from the other small business programs?

The Small Business Rebuilding Program will provide funding to small businesses affected by flooding with 21 to 50 full-time employees (FTEs). It complements the existing Disaster Recovery Program, which provides assistance to organizations with up to 20 employees, as well as the Hand-Up plan, which provides low-interest loans and interest rebates. It includes small businesses affected by the June 2013 floods in southern Alberta and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, and is fully funded by the Government of Alberta. It will be administered through the Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA).

Businesses can assess eligibility or download a form online or visit a Disaster Recovery Program centre in their region.

What are the eligibility requirements for the Small Business Rebuilding Program?

The eligibility criteria for this program mirrors the eligibility requirements for the DRP — the only difference is the number of employees. The Small Business Rebuilding Program is specifically for organizations with 21 FTEs to a maximum of 50 FTEs.

The eligible small business must also:

  • be a registered incorporation, partnership, joint venture or sole proprietor;
  • have gross revenues greater than $6,000 and less than $15 million; and
  • have been operating in the flood hazard area at a valid address included in the flood hazard mapping and suffered direct damage from the flood.

I am a self-employed contractor. Am I eligible?

Yes, if the business meets the eligibility requirements.

Are not-for-profit organizations and agricultural producers eligible?

Due to their unique circumstances, these two groups have their own Disaster Recovery Program eligibility. More information is available on the Alberta government flood recovery website or at a Disaster Recovery Program Centre. Not-for-profit organizations and agricultural producers may be eligible under the Hand-up Plan.

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Are First Nations enterprises eligible for the Small Business Rebuilding Program?

Yes.First Nations enterprises are eligible, if the enterprise meets the eligibility requirements.

Are small businesses located in the Regional Municipality for Wood Buffalo eligible?

Yes. Small businesses are eligible, if the business meets the eligibility requirements.

Are businesses with revenues more than $15 million eligible?

No. Revenues of this magnitude do not fit the definition of a small business.

I have a business in a community that was not flooded, but my operations were impacted. Am I eligible?

The intent of the program is to provide financial assistance to small businesses that were severely impacted by the recent floods; businesses in High River for example. For businesses outside of High River, they must have operated within the affected flood area (same definition as the Disaster Recovery Program) and are able to demonstrate proof of loss among other eligibility requirements.

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How do I confirm I am in a flood affected area?

The flood affected area is any community affected by the 2013 floods. This is different from the "flood hazard area" which is a technical term defined by the flood hazard maps. You do not have to be in the flood hazard area to qualify for small business support.

Small business owners should apply to the program if:

  • your small business was severely impacted by the June 2013 floods in Fort McMurray or southern Alberta;
  • you have already applied to the 2013 Disaster Recovery Program; and/or
  • you have submitted an insurance claim related to the flooding;

How long will applications be accepted?

We are currently accepting applications, and will do so until June 30, 2014. Financial arrangements made prior to July 24 (no earlier than July 1, 2013) may be retroactive.

How and when will eligible businesses receive Small Business Rebuilding Program funding?

Small businesses can download the form from the Government of Alberta flood recovery website and mail it to the address provided. This will begin the process. Government recognizes the importance of providing funding as quickly as possible. Each situation will be unique.

Where is the money for this program coming from?

The Government of Alberta is bearing the full cost of the Small Business Rebuilding Program.

What will this program cost the Government of Alberta?

The costs will be approximately $50 to $60 million.

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Flood mapping

» Alberta flood hazard map application

How do I know if I live on a floodway or a flood fringe?

A floodway zone is the portion of the flood hazard area where flows are deepest, fastest and most destructive. A flood fringe zone means floodwater is generally shallower and flows more slowly than in a floodway.

Highest risks to property, human health and safety and the environment are found in floodways — no development is recommended here. In flood fringes, flood mitigation can reduce flood damage risk and support some development, like housing. Flood hazard mapping for many areas of the province are available online: http://www.envinfo.gov.ab.ca/FloodHazard/

Flood mapping is just one of the tools available to property owners. Property owners may also consult with a hydrologist at their own cost. Visit the flood hazard maps to see whether your home is in a flood risk area.

Are there flood hazard maps prepared for the entire province?

This is an ongoing process. More than 70 per cent of Alberta's populated areas are mapped or do not require mapping due to low-to-no flood hazard.

Why isn't my home on the map? And how many homes are currently in a flood fringe or floodway?

Flood hazard mapping does not capture individual development, so you won't see your house illustrated on the map; the map outlines geographic areas of flood hazard.

Does Alberta have sufficient resources to ensure these maps are updated, particularly in light of climate change and anticipated increase in storm intensity and duration?

Yes, the provincial program is built on continuous improvement. Every flood event is an opportunity to review our processes and information.

Currently our studies identify a one per cent flood event — that is, a flood event that has a one per cent chance of occurring each year. It is commonly referred to as a 1-in-100 year flood, but they can happen more frequently. This is the provincial standard.

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Why does the province let municipalities sell this land to developers, knowing it's in floodways? Will you prevent municipalities from approving development in floodways?

Individuals and all levels of government have a responsibility and a role in managing flood hazards. The Alberta government has been conducting flood hazard mapping since the 1970s; however, some communities have existed for more than 100 years, prior to flood hazard mapping. Flood hazard mapping is provided to municipalities so they can make the best decisions for future development. New residential development and permanent structures are discouraged in floodways; flood fringe development should include flood mitigation measures. The decisions to zone and approve is currently a municipal authority.

Legislative changes are being planned to prevent municipalities from approving development on floodways. Many municipalities already have requirements in place for this. This work is supported by flood hazard mapping by the provincial government. Moving forward, it is clear that additional efforts need to be placed on appropriate development.

Are there any other areas of Alberta that are prone to flooding that have out-of date mapping? Who's next on the list and what's the priority for getting these done?

Flood Hazard Studies are created to provide information for long term planning. The studies show what the future flooded areas would be if the flood hazard areas are developed appropriately. As a planning tool, a flood hazard study should provide quality information for many years.

More than 70 per cent of Alberta's populated areas are mapped or do not require mapping due to low-to-no flood risk. The communities that have been mapped to date were selected based on risk and population, which takes into consideration safety of Albertans and economic factors. Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, continues to work closely with municipalities on the flood hazard studies and mapping.

When will you update the maps to account for recent floods?

Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) has been collecting data from affected water bodies and communities. ESRD will be evaluating the event to see how it compares to the design flood event, then will conduct an assessment to see if updates to mapping are required. ESRD will work with local municipalities to conduct updates if necessary.

How long will it take to map the rest of the province? Do you have the resources — staff and funding — to get the work done?

Flood hazard studies will be completed as required to support decision making by local authorities. Both government and private sector resources are used to complete flood hazard studies allowing for effective study production.

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What are the criteria for mapping?

The hazard mapping program is based on assessing areas of high risk to flood events. There is no specific focus on towns or municipalities, but instead, areas of the province where there are risks to populations from flood events.

Does flood hazard mapping take into account agricultural land and industrial use, or only communities and houses?

Flood hazard studies provide information for areas of land adjacent to a river and are independent of land use. With this information, local authorities can make appropriate land use decisions.

Will the province work with Calgary, Fort McMurray, Medicine Hat and others where major portions of the cities flooded to prevent future floods?

Yes, the province will work closely with municipalities in order to address these types of issues and concerns province-wide. As well, we will need to look at a community approach for future flood mitigation.

What about the flood mitigation infrastructure that is in place in Manitoba? Why doesn't the province do something like that to protect communities?

Flooding that occurs in Alberta is drastically different from Manitoba flooding. In Alberta, the major component to flooding is rain, which can only be forecast a couple days in advance. There is no one single mitigation solution for preventing flood damages — communities, governments, and individuals must all play a role in mitigation solutions. Moving forward, additional investments may be considered.

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