FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has launched a Disaster Financial Assistance program to help individuals, small businesses, not-for-profit organizations and municipalities who suffered property damage following the mild temperatures and heavy rainfall of Jan. 23-24.

Close to 100 millimetres of rain fell throughout the evening of Jan. 23 and into Jan. 24, causing localized flooding, infrastructure damage and road closures in some southern parts of the province, as well as some power outages.

The storm caused extensive damage to roads, driveways and property, with recovery costs estimated at $9.5 million.

“We are pleased to be able to offer financial assistance to property owners who were impacted by the January flooding,” said Public Safety Minister Carl Urquhart. “Recovering from extreme weather events like this one is never easy, but the Disaster Financial Assistance program is an important step in that direction.”

The program provides assistance for eligible damage and losses that threaten the health and safety of individuals, municipalities and small businesses. The maximum assistance for structural repairs to private residences is $160,000, while the maximum for small businesses and not-for-profit organizations is $500,000.

The program is not a replacement for insurance, it will assist in covering only the basic costs of essential items.

Advance payments available

Advance payments against the total value of an eligible claim may be authorized to help pay for urgent work that will enable owners to reoccupy their property as quickly as possible. Advance payments will normally be for claims in excess of $10,000, may not exceed the total payable value of the claim and may not exceed $4,000. An application form and more information on advance payments are available online.

How to apply

A Disaster Financial Assistance package will be mailed to those who have already registered for the program. They will also be available online. Additional information on the program is available online.

The deadline for homeowners, small businesses and not-for-profit organizations to submit an application is May 31.

Consult the Flood Recovery for your Home or Business guide for tips on cleaning up after a flood and Disaster Financial Assistance. You may also call 1-888-553-8558 if you have questions.

Residents and small businesses that are eligible to receive assistance are subject to paying a deductible. For individual homeowners the deductible is $1,000 and for small businesses the deductible is $5,000. The deductible is automatically waived for social services clients. Requests for waiver may also be considered from those who are experiencing severe financial hardship.

Call your insurance company first

Contact your insurance company first to determine if the damage is already covered. You may have coverage for some of your losses and your insurer can act on your claim right away. If the damage is not covered under an insurance policy, contact the recovery team at the Department of Public Safety’s Emergency Measures Organization so the eligibility can be assessed.

In case of issues with the insurer, call the Office of the Consumer Advocate for Insurance at 1-888-283-5111.

Between 2008 and 2018, more than 14 natural disasters have occurred in New Brunswick, resulting in more than $253 million being spent on disaster recovery and mitigation activities.

As with any Disaster Financial Assistance program, the provincial government will request a cost-share program with the federal government. The Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangement is a cost-shared agreement among the federal, provincial and territorial governments to help cover response and recovery expenses following a disaster. The federal government will then reimburse eligible expenditures.