Monday, March 2, 2009

Haldimand "What is Disaster Relief Assistance?"

Much needs to be done in order to get disaster relief assistance from the government. A declaration by our council needs to be done within 14 days after the disaster. Once that is completed the government will decide if we are eligible for any funds. The funds are as follows, $2.00 from the Province for every $1.00 raised by the community.

A committee has to be formed of residents that are not effected by the flood and no members of council are allowed on this committee. These are just a few things that need to be done.

The following is a news article about Lorne Boyko, and is followed by some excerpts from the Disaster Relief Assistance Program.

If I hear of any fundraisers that are going on in the community, I will post it on my blog.

Haldimand County : County In Need of Disaster Relief
Posted by Adam Liefl

After recent flooding by the Grand River caused more than $1.6 million in damage, Haldimand County is searching for relief. Councillor Lorne Boyko conducted a survey over the last week that qualifies the county for help under the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program. Haldimand will consider the option for some areas of Dunnville and Cayuga today.

Purpose of the Program

The Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program (ODRAP) is intended to alleviate the
hardship suffered by private homeowners, farmers, small business enterprises and non-profit
organizations, whose essential property has been damaged in a sudden and unexpected
natural disaster, such as a severe windstorm, tornado, flood, forest fire or ice storm.

ODRAP provides funds to those who have sustained heavy losses for essential items such
as shelter and the "necessities of life." ODRAP does not provide full cost recovery
for all damages resulting from a disaster: it helps eligible recipients restore
essential furnishings and property only to pre-disaster condition.

ODRAP provides assistance when damages are so extensive that they exceed the financial
resources of the affected individuals, the municipality and community at large. This
program does not cover damages to privately-owned, non-essential property, nor to
essential property where private insurance is normally available.

In the event of a natural disaster, individuals are expected to bear the initial responsibility
for their losses. If the losses are so extensive that individuals cannot cope on their own,
the municipality and the community at large are expected to provide support.

Private Insurance
Individuals have a responsibility to take reasonable precautions to ensure their own
safety and protection, including their property. ODRAP is not an alternative or
a substitute for adequate private insurance coverage and sound risk
management. Damage claims should be directed first to insurance companies to
determine coverage of individual policies.

How ODRAP Works

Disaster Declaration

The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing is authorized to declare a "disaster area"
for the purposes of the ODRAP program. The municipal council asking for assistance
under the ODRAP program must adopt a resolution outlining the following:

1. the municipality’s request for a disaster area declaration;
2. whether all or a specified portion of the municipality is to be declared a disaster area.

The request for a disaster area declaration must be submitted to the Minister of
Municipal Affairs and Housing within 14 working days of the date of the disaster.

The council resolution should clearly define/identify the area which may be declared
as the disaster area. Municipal boundaries may not coincide with areas damaged by the
disaster. In this regard, municipalities should try to define all areas damaged by the
disaster to ensure fair treatment to all affected residents. It is important to note that only
damages within the declared disaster area are eligible for ODRAP funding.

Sample Resolution

Whereas the municipality of (name) recently experienced a (describe type of disaster
event) on (date), the council of the municipality of (name) hereby requests the
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to declare the (specific area/municipality) a
"disaster area" for the purposes of the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program
and further, should the Minister declare a disaster, Council will immediately,
under the authority of ODRAP, appoint members to a disaster relief committee to
administer ODRAP, as required.

Supporting information should accompany the resolution including:
• the number of private properties, farms, small businesses and non-profit
organizations that have incurred damages as a result of the disaster;
• the number of residents, small businesses or farms affected;
• the extent and the preliminary cost estimates of damages suffered;
• newspaper clippings, photographs and other documentary evidence where available;
• other information council feels is pertinent (e.g. Conservation Authority reports, etc.).

Defining the Disaster

The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing has the authority to declare a disaster
area for the purpose of this program. In determining whether a disaster has occurred,
the minister considers both the cause of the damages and the extent of the damages
relative to the financial resources of the affected area. The municipality will be notified
as to whether or not a disaster declaration has been made.

Should the minister declare a disaster area, the municipal council must appoint a disaster
relief committee (DRC) as soon as possible. If more than one municipality is affected by a
disaster, a joint committee can be formed with representatives appointed from each of
the affected municipalities. (Refer to the Guidelines for Disaster Relief Committees.)

Role of the Province

ODRAP is administered through the Municipal Services Offices and coordinated through
the Municipal Support Services Branch of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
listed on page 11.

The local Municipal Services Offices advise municipalities in setting up disaster
relief committees and help the committees establish operating procedures. Ministry
representatives will attend the inaugural meeting of the disaster relief committee and
provide appropriate help. Staff of the Municipal Services Offices also help municipalities
determine if public infrastructure damages are eligible for compensation.

Provincial Financial Assistance - Private Costs

A disaster relief committee must be established as quickly as possible for each disaster
area declared by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. The purpose of the
committee is twofold: to raise funds for the benefit of disaster victims, and to settle the
eligible claims of these victims as efficiently as possible.

The province will contribute up to $2 for every local dollar raised, to an amount necessary to settle all the eligible claims, up to 90 per cent of all eligible costs. Thus, no surplus funds are

The following is a list of costs not covered by ODRAP:
The following is a list of costs covered by ODRAP:

Eligible Losses and Costs

• restoration, repairs, or replacement to pre-disaster condition of a principal,
year-round residence, farm buildings and principal business enterprise
• essential furnishing of a private residence including refrigerator, freezer,
furnace, stove, clothes washer and dryer
• tools or other items essential to the claimant’s livelihood, including farm
machinery and equipment
• for farms, replacement cost only of orchard trees
• for business enterprises, replacement of inventory at cost
• livestock fencing
• restoration, repair, or replacement to pre-disaster condition of churches,
cemeteries, private schools, private clubs and other associations
• emergency expenses (e.g. evacuation costs, food and shelter, essential
• perishable food
• heat and light supplies (e.g. fuel for light and heat, heaters)

Ineligible Losses and Costs
• losses covered by insurance
• insurance deductible
• secondary residences e.g. cottages
• non-essential furniture (e.g. stereos, recreation room furniture)
• landscaping, fencing, driveways and retaining walls
• recreational vehicles (e.g. boats, snowmobiles)
• antiques and collections
• loss of revenue or wages
• losses recoverable at law

The Disaster Relief Committee

Setting up the Committee

As soon as possible after a disaster area has been declared by the minister, council
appoints a disaster relief committee by resolution. Where a disaster affects more than
one municipality, all councils should participate in the appointment of representatives
to a common disaster relief committee.

The disaster relief committee and its sub-committees act as an autonomous body
operating within provincial guidelines to raise funds and settle claims. The committee
ensures that all claims are dealt with fairly and equitably. The scope and nature of
damages will help determine how many committee members are required.
The disaster relief committee’s work could usually take anywhere from six months to
about one year to complete.

Council appoints the committee members from among its citizens, preferably from an unaffected area if possible, and should choose persons with varying backgrounds as it is desirable to obtain a variety of expertise for the committee.

The committee members may not be members of council and should have no potential
conflict of interest in the collection or distribution of funds
. If two or more
municipalities are involved, equitable representation on the committee is encouraged. In
unincorporated areas, the committee should be appointed by the group which made
the request for disaster area declaration (e.g. local service board).

Disaster Relief Committee Responsibilities
1. To appoint from among its members a chairperson and, if sub-committees
are established, the appropriate number of vice-chairpersons.
2. To appoint a treasurer, who should not be a member of the committee and,
if necessary, to appoint a secretary. The treasurer could be a municipal staff
person or a paid contract position.
3. To set up a disaster relief fund and bank account.
4. To register the fund as a charity with Revenue Canada.
5. To solicit donations to the fund and to organize fund-raising activities.
6. To establish guidelines and procedures for the receipt, appraisal, review and
settlement of claims for losses and damages.
7. To advertise the existence of the fund, the availability of assistance, and the terms
on which assistance will be provided.
8. To hire professional adjuster(s) for claims greater than $500 and appraise damages
for claims less than $500.
9. To distribute claim forms.
10. To approve payments in a consistent manner based on reports from the adjuster
in accordance with the program guidelines and the committee’s procedures.
11. To make payments to claimants.
12. To hire auditors to review the activities of the fund and prepare an audit report.
13. To submit an audited report to the local Municipal Services Office for review and
payment of the provincial contribution.

For more information regarding this publication, please call your nearest
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing office:

Central Municipal Services Office - Toronto
777 Bay Street, 11th Floor
Toronto ON M5G 2E5
(416) 585-6226 Toll Free : 1-800-668-0230
FAX: (416) 585-6882


  1. It is my understandimg that this limited provincial relief funding is only for homeowners, not renters, landlords nor business owners. Not all personal loses will be considered for assitance funding,so there may be a need to fund raise over and above the provincial relief provisions. For up to date status on the Dunnville area relief effort, contact Lorne Boyko.

  2. The Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program (ODRAP) is intended to alleviate the
    hardship suffered by private homeowners, farmers, small business enterprises and non-profit
    organizations, whose essential property has been damaged in a sudden and unexpected
    natural disaster, such as a severe windstorm, tornado, flood, forest fire or ice storm.

    Business owners are part of this assistance program.

    It looks like Lorne Boyko is going to need a lot of help from the community, as he isn't get much support from his council counterparts. Just read the Regional, I hope some people write some letters to the editor!

    Lorne can be contacted at 905-774-6309

  3. Disaster relief for Dunnville?? Dunnville was a disaster before this recent flooding. But maybe with some disaster relief funds flowing our way we can finally put up that big cat fish statue that will revitalize the "down town" and truy make Dunnville the laughing stock of all Canada as oppossed to just Ontario.

    We're Number One!!

  4. Thanks for your comments.

    I for one will be there to help in any way that I can. Dunnville has always been a community that helps each other.

    As far as the big cat fish I say go for it!