Samaritan's Purse responds to humanitarian crises with physical aid and a message of spiritual hope. In Canada, our Disaster Response Units, several tractor trailers outfitted with generators, pumps, hand tools, and safety gear, equip staff and volunteers to share God's love in a tangible way with Canadians in need. This is an overview of our past responses.
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Flooding in Vernon, BC (2017) One of our specially equipped Disaster Relief Unit tractor trailers was sent to Vernon, B.C. on the invitation of local officials after rising water on Okanagan Lake forced more than 200 residents out of their homes. We trained, equipped, and deployed 29 volunteers, who did flood relief work for 42 grateful homeowners.
Flooding in Ontario and Quebec (2017) Samaritan’s Purse sent two of its specially equipped Disaster Relief Units to eastern Ontario and western Quebec after snow melt and rainfall cause the Ottawa River to spill its banks. Almost 2,000 people were forced to leave their homes in communities such as Rockland, ON, Gatineau, QC, and Rigaud, QC. We trained, equipped and assigned more than 250 volunteers to remove mud, damaged furniture and water-soaked drywall, then sanitize the flooded areas to prevent mould. By the time our work was completed June 14, almost 130 homes had been cleaned.
Flooding in Lil’wat First Nation, BC (2016) Samaritan’s Purse Canada has sent one of its specially equipped Disaster Relief Units to Lil’wat First Nation, British Columbia and will recruit volunteers to clean-up homes in response to flooding. Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains were also on location to offer emotional and spiritual care.
Flooding in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia (2016) Samaritan’s Purse Canada has sent one of its specially equipped Disaster Relief Units to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and will recruit volunteers to clean-up homes in response to flooding. Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains were also on location to offer emotional and spiritual care.
Flooding in Windsor, Ontario (2016) In late September, as much as 190 millimeters (seven inches) of rain fell in the area in just 24 hours. Thousands of homes were flooded as a result. Samaritan’s Purse Canada worked with local churches and almost 230 volunteers, we responded to 122 requests for help, cleaning out basements, spraying them to prevent the spread of dangerous mold and preparing them to be rebuilt. Chaplains from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association accompanied Samaritan’s Purse to help meet the emotional and spiritual needs of flood victims and volunteers.
Wildfires in Fort McMurray (2016) On May 3, 2016 Fort McMurray, Alberta was evacuated due to a massive wildfire that engulfed the city and region of 80,000. Over 2,400 buildings were destroyed in the fire. On July 6, the Alberta government announced the fire was under control. Samaritan’s Purse staff and volunteers helped meet the physical needs of residents while sharing the love of Jesus. Chaplains from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association accompanied Samaritan’s Purse to help meet the emotional and spiritual needs of fire victims and volunteers.
Rock Creek Fires (2015) Areas of southern BC were swept by US wildfires that moved north across the border. These fires resulted in damage around Oliver and Rock Creek, BC and destroyed 30 homes along the Highway 33 corridor. The Samaritan’s Purse team actively worked in the area, helping 20 homeowners who were affected by the fires. 83 volunteers contributed over 500 volunteer hours. Seven chaplains from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association accompanied Samaritan’s Purse to help meet the emotional needs of flood victims and volunteers.
Flood Relief in British Columbia (2015) The small BC interior town of Cache Creek declared a state of emergency in May after torrential rain caused a flash flood which sent raging water and debris through downtown streets and closed two highways. Samaritan’s Purse responded with staff and local volunteers to clean up 17 damaged homes. Two chaplains from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association accompanied Samaritan’s Purse to help meet the emotional needs of flood victims and volunteers.
Flood Relief in Ontario (2014) Intense weather in the Greater Toronto Area dumped 130 mm of rain on the city of Burlington in the course of five hours. Flash flooding affected more than 2,000 homes. Samaritan’s Purse partnered with World Renew and 145 volunteers to help 57 families clean up their homes. As is the case for all our Canadian disaster responses, we partnered with chaplains from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to help meet the emotional needs of flood survivors and volunteers.
Flood Relief in Saskatchewan (2014) Samaritan’s Purse was invited to assist with clean-up and recovery efforts in Melville, Saskatchewan, after 200 mm of rain fell in just a few days. More than 340 volunteers helped Samaritan’s Purse clean up 89 homes.
Flood Relief in New Brunswick (2014) The Village of Sussex Corner declared a state of emergency on April 16 due to severe flooding in the southern New Brunswick community of 1,500 people. Ice jams and high water on area waterways damaged as many as 100 homes in Sussex Corner. More than 400 volunteers worked with Samaritan’s Purse to clean up 72 homes and prepare them for repair.
Flood Relief in Southern Alberta (2013) Record river levels and melting snow from the Rocky Mountains combined with heavy rainfall to produce major floods in the city of Calgary as well as other southern Alberta communities. Three Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Relief Units and multitudes of volunteers responded to help affected communities.
Flood Relief in Ontario (2013) Heavy rains and melting ice and snow created a devastating combination in central Ontario. Samaritan’s Purse helped homeowners clean out and prepare their homes for rebuild when several communities in the Muskoka region were forced to declare states of emergency.
Flood Relief in New Brunswick (2012) The St. John River overflowed its banks in March, forcing over one third of Perth-Andover’s 1,700 residents to evacuate. A Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Relief Unit and over 500 volunteers cleaned out houses and brought comfort to many grateful homeowners.
Flood Relief in Quebec (2011) Prolonged flooding damaged hundreds of homes in the Richelieu River valley in May and June. A Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Relief Unit and dozens of local volunteers brought comfort and assistance to many devastated residents.
Slave Lake Fires (2011)
When forest fire swept through this small northern Alberta city in May, Samaritan’s Purse staff and volunteers took one of our Disaster Relief Units to bring help and hope to the devastated community.
Flooding in New Brunswick (2010)
When flooding affected the residents of Zeeland, Samaritan’s Purse sent a Disaster Response Unit to assist local volunteers with the clean-up.
Newfoundland hurricane response (2010)
After Hurricane Igor struck Newfoundland, Samaritan’s Purse deployed a Disaster Relief Unit to Bonavista, Newfoundland where we worked with local churches, agencies, and volunteers to manage and provide clean-up and other assistance to residents.
Southern Alberta Flooding (2010)
When heavy rains caused severe flooding in southern Alberta in June, 2010, Samaritan’s Purse deployed a Disaster Relief Unit to Medicine Hat where we worked with local churches, agencies, and volunteers to manage and provide clean-up and other assistance to residents.
Ontario Tornado (2010)
Samaritan’s Purse was on the ground coordinating volunteer clean-up efforts following a powerful tornado on June 6, 2010 in Leamington, ON.
Chilliwack Flood Relief (2009)
When freezing temperatures, close-to-record snowfall, and enormous amounts of rain combined to cause massive flooding in January, 2009, in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley, Samaritan’s Purse mobilized a Disaster Relief Unit. Together with local volunteers, we provided aid to more than 65 families who were forced out of their badly damaged homes.
New Brunswick Flooding (2008)
Following recent flooding in the province of New Brunswick, Samaritan’s Purse Canada deployed a Disaster Relief Unit and equipped local volunteers to help with flood clean-up and recovery. Many of the people we helped were elderly, disabled, facing medical problems, or otherwise unable to tackle the clean-up on their own.
British Columbia Flooding (2007)
One of our Disaster Relief Units was sent after spring floods damaged homes in the Terrace, British Columbia area. Around 130 volunteers provided approximately 3,000 hours of work cleaning out homes.
United States Flooding (2006)
We dispatched a Disaster Relief Unit and equipped over 200 Canadian and American volunteers who helped clean up 27 communities in New York and Pennsylvania after summer floods, winds, and rains devastated neighborhoods and destroyed businesses.
United States Hurricanes (2005)
One of our Disaster Relief Units mobilized and equipped more than 200 Canadian volunteers who made emergency repairs and helped with massive clean-up efforts for 566 homes in Gulfport, Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area.