Author’s note: To ensure you only have to look at one place to get all the information you need, I’m including earlier points in each update. Older information will be dated to avoid potential confusion.
Note 2: Updated information on evacuation centres. See below
If you have been displaced by the NWT Wildfire evacuations, here’s what you need to know as of 11:00 a.m., Aug. 24:
– If you do not have your NWT health care card with you, contact the Health Services Administration Office by phone (1-800-661-0830 or 867-678-8050) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a verification letter. The letter will confirm that you have valid NWT health care coverage. (Source: GNWT)
– All court proceedings, including Supreme Court proceedings, in the NWT up to Sept. 8 have been cancelled.
– Deputy minister of Education John Macdonald said at last night’s press conference parents would be hearing from their local school boards as to what the plan is for the start of school.
– NTHSSA says if you need a prescription refill, please call 867-447-0169 (or send a text message) and leave the following details. If you are leaving a voice message please speak slowly and clearly and spell your names out in your message: First and last name, Date of birth, Name of prescription and Name and phone number of the pharmacy where you will pick up the prescription. You will be contacted within 24 hours, except on weekends. If you call on Friday, you will be contacted on Monday. (Source: NTHSSA)
– Emergency Management Organization information officer Jennifer Young says talks are underway to ensure food supplies normally flown out of Yellowknife airport are still being passed North.
– Road blocks are in place preventing anyone from attempt to return to evacuated communities. People in communities who have not evacuated are being asked to leave peacefully.
– People who move from one evacuation centre to another are allowed to if they de-register with the initial centre and register with the new one. However, people are being cautioned “There is no guarantee that other locations will have capacity to support you once you arrive at another evacuation centre.”
– Housing NWT has suspended all automatic rent payouts and collection activity for evacuated communities.
– Incarcerated persons have been transferred to Yukon and Alberta. Visit the Whitehorse Correctional Centre’s webpage or the Alberta’s Correctional Services webpage to learn how to contact your loved ones.
– [Aug. 23] The City of Yellowknife has posted a “pet retrieval form” on its website, which can be found here.
– [Aug. 23] If you believe someone is still in Yellowknife and want RCMP to do a wellness check on them, call the Yellowknife RCMP line at 1-867-669-1111.
– [Aug. 23] NTPC says that while evacuation orders remain in place, all penalties for late payments will be suspended and there will be a freeze on all customer disconnections. Automatic bill payments will continue to be processed as these reflect past electricity consumption [Source: NTPC]
– [Aug. 23] If you’re staying at an evacuation centre and want to move to a different location, the GNWT is asking you to de-register with your current evacuation centre and register with the new one when you arrive.
– [Aug. 23] Finance Minister Caroline Wawzonek says cabinet will ask the Legislative Assembly for money to begin an evacuee compensation program during the emergency sitting Aug. 28.
– [Aug. 23] Food and supplies to outlying communities continue to fly in using Yellowknife Airport, but the airport is closed to commercial use.
– [Aug. 22] Garbage collection has resumed in Yellowknife in limited capacity. Anyone still in the city who needs to drop off trash should take it to the recycling depot at the corner of School Draw and Franklin Avenue, in front of City Hall, co-op Recycling depot at Old Airport. No curbside pickup at this time.
– [Aug. 22] Workers are on standby in Foot Good Hope to repair the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link line towards Inuvik and are waiting for the weather to allow them to the site of the damaged line.
– [Aug. 22] Inuvik Twin Lakes MLA Lesa Semmler is reporting from her evacuation location in Edmonton that “Tenants who rent in Yellowknife with Northview and are part of their Northview’s resident insurance to contact Sharp Insurance at 1-833-802-1490”
– [Aug. 22] Three people were injured in a shooting in the parking lot of West Edmonton Mall late Aug. 21. Evacuees from the NWT were in the building, but no injuries to evacuees have been reported.
– [Aug. 22] Phone lines for RCMP in Hay River are still having problems and residents are asked to call the Yellowknife RCMP at 1-867-669-1111 and tell the dispatcher they are in Hay River.
– [Aug. 22] Expect to be out of your community for at least a couple weeks. Wildfire information officer Mike Westwick told reporters last night that it could be weeks before the North Slave Complex wildfire is no longer a threat and that still doesn’t account for how long it will take to get essential services back online.
– [Aug. 22] Elementary, Junior High and Secondary School for evacuees may be delayed until people can safely return to their communities. Remote learning is not being considered as an option.
– [Aug. 22] An emergency meeting of the legislative assembly is scheduled for Aug. 28 to vote on whether to delay the upcoming General Election set for Oct. 3.
– [Aug. 22] Mature students awaiting financial assistance are asked to email the following documents to email@example.com : Form D – Student Enrolment Form, Form E – Payment and Financial Transaction Authorization Form (if a new student or banking information changed), and an official copy of your transcript (unofficial copies will be accepted at this time). Student receiving Remissible and/or Repayable Loans will also need to submit their Loan Agreement.
– [Aug. 21] People out of work for seven days or longer will be eligible for $750 in funding from the GNWT. Residents who want to apply need to be registered as an evacuee with the GNWT; provide proof of employment income; provide a declaration that they have lost income and have had no financial assistance from their employer and; supply adequate information for the GNWT to provide a T4A slip.
– [Aug. 21] Evacuees on income assistance who have direct deposit will also receive $500 per person or $1,000 per family. Direct deposit must be set up to receive the funding. To sign up for direct deposit, call (855)-283-9311 if your last name begins with A to M, or (833)-995-7338 if your last name begins with N to Z. You can also use these numbers to apply for income assistance if you need it. Officials ask everyone to leave a message with contact and promise they will call people back.
– [Aug. 21] Service Canada is fast-tracking Employment Assistance applications. Representatives are at evacuation centres listed below. No record of employment will be needed to apply for EI if you are an evacuee. Anyone with questions can call 1 877 631 2657 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
– [Aug. 21] BC has set up a Family Support Line at 1-844-824-2219 (toll-free) and they will help provide info for family of in-patients from Stanton Territorial Hospital who were moved to BC. If you are in BC and are an NWT evacuee you can call 604-875-4953 for health services to receive health care. (Source: GNWT)
– [Aug. 21] Reports of looting seen on social media are misinformed, say officials. RCMP have increased front line patrols in Yellowknife. A viral set of images of two people breaking into a house was a family-related issue and no stolen property has been reported.
– [Aug. 21] Housing NWT clients in public housing will have their rent prorated for communities that have been evacuated. There will be no late fees applied to evacuees. District Offices and Local Housing Organizations will work with evacuees when it is safe to return home. For emergencies, please call the Housing NWT Toll-Free Number: 1-844-NWT-HOME (1-844-698-4663) (Source: GNWT)
– [Aug. 21] People staying in hotels will be covered for the duration of the crisis. Please keep in communication with your hotel front desk to ensure minimal disruptions.
– [Aug. 21] Anyone still in Yellowknife is asked to call (867)-444-0115 or proceed to Sir John Franklin High School to register for the next available flight. The registration centre is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. All evacuees will be airlifted to Winnipeg, Man. and will be offered lodgings in hotels.
– [Aug. 21] Anyone travelling on their own is asked to proceed to Alberta and register at a reception centre, depending on where they are evacuating from. If you’re staying at an evacuation centre and want to move to a different location, the GNWT is asking you to de-register with your current evacuation centre and register with the new one when you arrive.
Reception centres for Yellowknife evacuees are as follows:
- Westin Calgary Airport, 671 Aero Drive NE
- Fox Creek Hall, 200 1st Street, Fox Creek
- Parkland Motels II, 10710 101 Ave, Lac la Biche – Health services are limited in this community.
- G.H. Dawe Community Centre, 6175 67 St, Red Deer
- Polar Palace Arena, 4429 52 Ave, Valleyview – was at capacity but is open again
- Allen and Jean Millar Centre, 58 Sunset Blvd, Whitecourt
- 5001 44 Ave, Fort Vermillion
- Edmonton EXPO Centre – Hall C, 7515 118 Ave NW
[UPDATED AUG. 23] Evacuees from the South Slave, including Hay River, Enterprise, Fort Smith and K’atlodeeche First Nation are asked to travel to one of the following locations:
- Edmonton EXPO Centre – Hall C, 7515 118 Ave NW
Do not travel to High Level, Peace River, Leduc, Fort McMurray, St. Albert or Grande Prairie as their reception centres are at full capacity.
Anyone still in Hay River who needed to be flown out on Aug. 17 was flown to Lloydminister.
Kakisa residents are asked to inform the band office when leaving or if not possible to register at the reception centre in Fort Simpson. Jean Marie River residents have been evacuated to Fort Simpson.
People evacuating the NWT are also being offered free camping in all Province of Alberta maintained campgrounds. To do so, first register as an evacuee at a reception centre. Then phone the Alberta Parks Contact Centre at 1-877-537-2757 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to be matched to a campsite for up to 10 consecutive days.