FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has launched a Disaster Financial Assistance program to help individuals, small businesses, not-for-profit organizations and municipalities that suffered property damage because of flooding related to heavy rainfall from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2.

The program provides assistance for eligible uninsurable 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.

“This has been a difficult year for many New Brunswickers,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Tammy Scott-Wallace. “Flood damage at any time in any year is upsetting. Grappling with the issue during a global pandemic and so close to the holidays is especially difficult. I have heard from many residents of my region affected by this and my thoughts are with them. I strongly encourage those who have experienced flood damage because of this weather event to register their damages and apply as soon as possible.”

Scott-Wallace spoke on behalf of Justice and Public Safety Minister Hugh J. Flemming.

More than 200 millimetres of rain fell in parts of New Brunswick over the course of the three days. Damage was reported in several municipalities but particularly in the Sussex region.

How to apply

Residents who experienced flood damage as a result of heavy rainfall from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 are asked to register their damages online or by calling 1-888-298-8555. Once they register, a Disaster Financial Assistance package will be mailed to them. More information is available online.

The deadline for homeowners, small businesses and not-for-profit organizations to submit an application is March 31, 2021. They can call 1-888-553-8558 if they have questions.

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

Residents should contact their insurance company first

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

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

Between 2008 and the spring of 2019, more than 16 natural disasters have occurred in New Brunswick, resulting in the expenditure of more than $313 million 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 back to the province.