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Edmonton makes resources available to 1,500 registered evacuees

Click to play video: 'Alberta political leaders put differences aside amidst wildfires'
Alberta political leaders put differences aside amidst wildfires
WATCH ABOVE: As evacuees wonder when they will return home and what they will see when they get there, Alberta’s political leaders are putting differences aside. Sunday, political rivals met with each other and evacuees to show a united front and ease fears. Sarah Komadina has more. – May 7, 2023

More than 1,500 people have registered at the Edmonton reception centre as of Sunday afternoon after fleeing their homes and communities due to wildfire risk.

Most people are evacuees from Drayton Valley and Brazeau County seeking a place to stay, food, clothing, medical services and animal care.

Many supports are available to people directly at the reception centre. The Canadian Red Cross and insurance companies are on site, and the Alberta Health Service is there to offer mental health services, as well as a prescribing pharmacist for anyone who needs additional medication.

Pets have been a big concern for many residents having to leave their homes and about 1,300 pets have been registered at the reception centre — almost a one-to-one ratio to humans, according to the city, whose Animal Care and Control Centre is providing on site, temporary daytime care for pets.

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Pet supplies, including food, are available to be picked up at the Edmonton Humane Society from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day. Pet food and supply donations are welcome.

Donations to the reception centre are not accepted at this time, as the city’s Emergency Support Response Team continues to provide necessary supplies and care to evacuees.

Evacuees can also access fitness and health services through the Jamie Platz Family YMCA, which is opening its doors for free access to showers and rec centre. The Commonwealth Recreation Centre is also offering showers to anyone who has been displaced.

Despite the challenges many people are facing, the city is alerting people to fraudulent texts targeting people impacted by the wildfires.

“These texts are asking for personal information to access services or financial support. Residents are advised to only provide information in-person at the Reception Centre or through the provincial online registration system at emergencyregistration.alberta.ca,” according to the city.

“I’m really impressed. It’s amazing what they had set up on such short notice for so many people,” said Anna Turtiak, who arrived from Drayton Valley Saturday morning with her family and dogs.

She added that seeing all the people at the reception centre really puts the wildfire into perspective and shows just how big their community is, but everyone has come together to help each other out.

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