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Disaster recovery assistance announced Essex residents

An above ground pool is surrounded by water after a storm caused flooding in Harrow, Ont., on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023. (Bob Bellacicco/CTV News Windsor) An above ground pool is surrounded by water after a storm caused flooding in Harrow, Ont., on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023. (Bob Bellacicco/CTV News Windsor)
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Essex residents are getting some help from the province after widespread damage caused by a series of severe thunderstorms that passed through the region on Aug. 23.

Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Paul Calandra announced Tuesday that he has activated the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontario program for the town.

Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians (DRAO) is a program that can help individuals recover costs after a natural disaster. The Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing may activate DRAO for damage to private property if there’s a sudden, unexpected natural event, such as a flood or tornado that causes costly and widespread damage.

DRAO provides financial assistance to:

  • small, owner-operated businesses
  • small, owner-operated farms
  • not-for-profit organizations
  • homeowners (primary residence only) and residential tenants

Eligible individuals could be reimbursed for:

  • clean up expenses
  • costs to repair or replace essential property
  • basic emergency expenses like evacuation travel costs

Financial help from the program:

  • is limited to $250,000 per application
  • is subject to a $500 deductible, which may be waived for low-income households

It reimburses up to 90 per cent of your total eligible costs with limits for:

  • emergency expenses
  • household appliances
  • furnishings

The program will be administered by the Government of Ontario. View the Municipal Affairs and Housing News Release.

To find out if they may be eligible for assistance if they are in the activation area, and for next steps, individuals, small businesses, farms and not-for-profit organizations should review the maps and program guidelines, or call 1-877-822-0116 or email disasterassistance@ontario.ca after speaking with their private insurance provider.

Residents with no insurance coverage or whose insurance coverage is insufficient to cover essential costs have until March 27, 2024, to apply for assistance through the program.

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