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The Fort McMurray fire: Here’s how you can help, and receive help

JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS VIA AP

FACTS ON THE GROUND

The fire that has devastated the Fort McMurray area is a rapidly shifting disaster that’s driven tens of thousands from their homes. Here’s a look at where it started, and how quickly it spread in just the first week:



To keep up with the latest details on mandatory evacuations, evacuation routes and where the shelters are, follow the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo ( @RMWoodBuffalo) for regular updates. There’s also @511Alberta for updates on road closings and restricted travel. You might also want to check out ymmfire.ca or the Fort McMurray evacuees’ open-source help page on Facebook.

Here’s a live feed of various emergency services, government agencies and @YMMHelp, a crowdsourced resource for evacuees and those offering them shelter:



WHO TO CONTACT

If you’re an evacuee and haven’t yet registered with the Red Cross, here’s where you can do that.

If you’re trying to find a loved one or need evacuation information, you can call the regional municipality at 780-762-3636 or the Red Cross at 1-888-350-6070.

Facebook also activated its safety-check feature for the Fort McMurray fire, an option for those who want to reassure their family and friends that they’re okay.


WHAT ABOUT PETS?

The SPCA is asking pet owners who’ve left their animals behind to register online so they can be rescued. Here’s the regional municipality’s page for requesting an emergency pet rescue, and a crowdfunded map showing where lost animals have been reported.


HOW TO OFFER HELP

  • Money: Click here to donate to the Red Cross. You can also donate $5 by texting “REDCROSS” to 30333. The Alberta and federal governments have said they’ll match private donations to the Red Cross.
  • Supplies: Here’s a crowdsourced Facebook page to connect Fort McMurray residents needing items with volunteers providing them.
  • Shelter: Airbnb has waived its service fees for those affected by the disaster. Here’s where you can check in to offer or seek accommodation.
  • Volunteers: Those interested in volunteering through the regional municipality can apply here.
Wendy Tremblay prepares cots for residents of Fort McMurray as they prepare to assemble in Conklin, Alta.

Wendy Tremblay prepares cots for residents of Fort McMurray as they prepare to assemble in Conklin, Alta.

TOPHER SEGUIN/REUTERS


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