Slave Lake Region – After The Fire Information for Residents Your central information source for your return to the Slave Lake Area Community Social Centre St. Mary of the Lake School 409 – 6th Avenue, Slave Lake 780-849-8175 Welcome Home This document is a collection of important information you’ll need in the coming days. The information in this document is designed to be as broad-serving as possible and not all of the information may apply to your situation. If you have questions about a topic not included in this document, please call the Community Social Centre at 780-849-8175. To ensure your safety, not all services like electricity and gas will be immediately available. Utility staff will need to ensure your home is safe to reconnect. It may take up to 72-hours from the time you arrive home to be reconnected. Important Numbers Community Social Centre (St. Mary of the 780-849-8175 Lake School, 409 – 6th Avenue) Alberta Health Services Call 911 for an emergency. Call HealthLink at 1-866-408-5465 to speak with a nurse. TELUS 310-2255 ATCO Electric 1-800-667-1261 ATCO Gas 310-5678 or 1-800-511-3447 Swan River Gas 780-775-3779 Report a bear sighting (Fish and Wildlife) 310-0000 or 1-800-642-3800 Lost drivers license or identification 310-0000 RCMP 911 for emergencies 780-849-3045 (Slave Lake Detachment Complaint Line) 780-849-3999 (Slave Lake Detachment Administration Line) Community Social Centre The Community Social Centre will be at St. Mary of the Lake School (409 – 6th Avenue SW) and will be your one-stop location to address any questions or needs you may have upon returning to the community. Programs and services you will be able access include: - Counseling Services - Service Alberta/Alberta Registries - Children’s Services - Employment and Immigration - Parent Link - WJS Alberta (Family Support Centre) - Persons with Developmental Disabilities - Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped - First Nations and Métis services - Ministerial Association - Education services - Financial services - Housing and insurance - Child minding - Volunteer coordination - Donation coordination - Waste disposal The center will be in service to provide support to the needs of residents as we transition from evacuation centers to long-term residency. The center will be open for the next two weeks: Hours of Operation: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Operations beyond week two will depend on the needs of the community. Updates will be circulated in the community confirming changes in operating hours. To contact the Community Social Centre, call 780-849-8175 What first steps do you need to take after the fire? Safety checklist to re-enter your home and property after the fire: If you smell gas, exit your home immediately and call 911. Do not smoke when first returning to your home. Bring flashlights with you as there may not be power in your home. o Turn the flashlights on first before you enter your home and don’t try to use any electrical light switches. This should avoid creating any sparks that may cause another secondary fire or explosion if there is a gas build- up somewhere in your home. o Turn off all of your appliances “OFF”. After your electricity and natural gas have been restored, check your appliance to ensure everything is operating properly. If you have a propane tank system, you may wish to contact your service provider to do an inspection. Visually check the stability of the trees around your property. Look for burn damage on the tree trunk or for visible damage of burnt tree roots. o Any trees that have been damaged by fire may soon become another hazard. They need to be cut down and removed. Do a thorough inspection of your home and your property. Make note of any damage or debris. Take lots of photos to document any damage to your home and property. The foundation of your home and any brick or cement fireplace chimneys may have been damaged by heat from the wildfire. Please inspect carefully. If you notice damage, please contact 780-849-8175. There may be soot and ash, as well as fire debris, from this fire around your home and yard. If you or any of your family members have breathing difficulties or asthma, take all appropriate precautions to protect yourself. Wear protective gear (N95 mask, gloves, heavy soled shoes or boots) when removing debris or ash. There may be broken glass, bits of burned, fallen metal, nails, and so forth all around your property. If you accidentally step on a nail or piece of metal/wood, consult your physician or hospital emergency as soon as possible. Signs for utility connection and fridge removal You have been provided with four signs (one for gas, water, power, and for fridge removal). Place the sign in your front window to alert workers that your utilities (gas, power, and water) need to be turned on or that your fridge needs to be removed. M.D. residents will need to ensure their signs are visible from the road. Please place the signs in your windows ONLY when you are home as workers will need to enter your home to complete this work. Once work has been completed, please flip the appropriate sign over to the side that says “completed” and display it in your window, or appropriate location viewable from the road. Please check with the Community Social Centre (CSC) on when to remove these signs. Hazards to watch for in your neighbourhood/community: Avoid contact with damaged or fallen power lines and poles. There may be hidden electrical hazards. Call ATCO Electric to report. Watch your pets or other domestic animals closely and keep them under your direct control at all times. Fire retardants can cause eye irritation, dry skin, and stinging to cuts and scrapes on your skin. Any remaining soot/ash can be washed off hard surfaces by using your garden hose once water is restored. Use appropriate personal protection if you plan on doing this yourself. This includes rubber gloves, rubber boots, long sleeved shirt and pants. Consult your family physician as soon as possible if you experience any reaction to these products. Rural Sewer System (Municipal District of Lesser Slave River) Residents that are located in Canyon Creek, Widewater and Wagner serviced by the e-one low pressure sewer systems will have service restored by municipal staff as soon as possible once power is restored in individual residences. Insurance Information: If you are insured: Contact your insurance company/ broker as soon as possible. The sooner the insurance company is notified, the quicker your insurance claim can be processed. Take lots of pictures of the damage to your home and property. This will help with your insurance claim. Work with your insurance company agent to find out what is covered, what is not covered and what may be subject to further discussion Work with your insurance company and their accredited fire restoration companies to try to restore or rebuild your home. Try to create an inventory of household items, both inside and outside of the buildings which have been damaged by fire. Photograph or videotape the damage as much as possible. If you are not insured: For information on available assistance, check with: o Canadian Red Cross 1-800-565-4483 www.redcross.ca o Community Social Centre 780-849-8175 If your home has a mortgage, call the bank or company that holds this mortgage to let them know as soon as possible. Fire damage can temporarily reduce the value of your home, but once the damage has been repaired, the value will return. Restoration Contractors As much as possible, work with and through your insurance company. They will know reputable restoration contractors that can help you and that know the proper standards to follow. If you decide to choose your own restoration contractor, check their references. If any one in your family is sensitive to chemicals or mould, you need to let the restoration contractor know that so that they can take all necessary precautions. If there are questions or issues arising, contact the Service Alberta Consumer Contact Centre (toll free number is 1-877-427–4088). They can help provide you with more information about various consumer issues. What about the food in my home? How do I know which foods to keep and which to discard? Seal your fridge with duct tape. Place the sign in your window (or ensure it’s visible from the road if you live in the M.D.) requesting fridge pick-up. Throw out all the dry goods that are not in sealed packages/cans. Throw out any unrefrigerated raw vegetables or fruits, or any foods that were stored in porous containers (e.g. cardboard, foam containers, etc.). Throw out any food that was in bowls on counters/tables (i.e. fruit bowl). Throw out any canned food where the can looks like it is bulging or rusted. Throw out all jarred foods, as the heat from the fire likely compromised the safety seal. Canned foods that look like they may be okay need to be cleaned and disinfected with soap and water before being opened to make sure the contents aren’t contaminated. When you are trying to decide what foods to keep or to throw away, be safe and always remember: “When in doubt, throw it out”. How to prepare your refrigerator, freezers, and spoiled food waste: Do not remove the spoiled food and containers from your fridge. Seal your fridge with duct tape. If you have a deep freeze separate from your fridge, plug your freezer back in and refreeze all the items inside and then dispose of them. If required, wear rubber gloves and masks when removing spoiled food waste from your home. Place all other waste, dry goods, raw vegetables, canned food and jarred foods in plastic garbage bags and place into the waste carts provided. Place the sign in your window or at road side (for M.D. residents) requesting pick-up. Place your contaminated refrigerators and freezers at the curb for pick-up. If you need help moving your fridge or freezer, please call the Community Social Centre at 780-849-8175. Town Residential Waste Collections Normal residential waste collection will resume the first Tuesday after the safe return of residents. Landfill Information For public safety the landfill is closed to all residential users until further notice. Please use the temporary M.D. waste collection sites set up in the following communities; Canyon Creek Hockey Rink Widewater Complex Slave Lake Visitor information Center Martin Beach Transfer Site Smith Transfer Site If you have any questions about waste, call: 780-369-2590 What about my drinking water? BE aware of the “Boil Water Advisory” in your community. Water is not yet safe for drinking. You will be notified when the boil water advisory is lifted. You will need to flush all of your water lines in your home for 15 minutes using cold water now that water service has been returned. The water from your taps should be visibly clear. Flushing the toilets repeatedly will help with this. Drain and flush your hot water tank. Fill it with clean water after you’ve flushed your home plumbing lines. If you are unsure about your water quality (discoloured water, damaged water tanks, etc.), do not drink or use for food preparation. During the boil water advisory: Boil water for minimum one minute (rolling boil) prior to consumption or use. Do not use electric kettles as the water won’t get hot enough to make it safe enough for consumption. Contact your district Alberta Health Services Environmental Public Health office for more information at 780-805-3521 or 780-805-3533. What about my home? If your home was damaged during firefighting, you will need to get rid of excess water to prevent potential for mould growth. Check with your insurance adjuster before completing any work on your damaged home. To help prevent mould growth, any water damaged or stained surfaces and appliances should be checked for damage, cleaned and disinfected with a 1:10 parts household bleach to water solution (1 tsp. bleach in 750ml water or 1 capful bleach in 1 gallon water). Dry all wet items as soon as possible. Wet or waterlogged carpeting should be dried as quickly as possible and any underlay should be removed. Steam cleaning carpets with a disinfectant will be adequate. You may need to use a dehumidifier to help to remove excess moisture from the air inside your home. Let your insurance company and restoration contractor know as soon as possible if you find any visible mould growth or smell mould inside your home. Get the air moving inside your house by using a fan to circulate the inside air and open windows. o Soot is oily and can stain carpets, curtains and soft furnishing. Therefore you need to remove it before you try to clean or deodorize those items. o Wash any clothes, bedding, linens that were in your home and that may have been affected by the smoke. o Check with your restoration company or insurance adjustor about smoke damage. What can I clean on my own? If your home was sprayed with fire retardants or some blown by wind, you will need to wash down your house roof, siding, cars, outdoor patio furniture with clean water. To clean windows and glass, use clean water and a razor blade tool to help to remove the sticky residue. NEVER use Bleach, as the reaction between bleach and the fire retardants will produce harmful and explosive gasses. Wash down children’s outside toys, play equipment, and recreational equipment to remove any residual fire contaminants. Wash down sand boxes with clean water; if the sandbox drains directly into the soil, repeat this step several times. If the sandbox is a plastic container, remove the old sand and replace it with clean sand. Keep your pets and children away from any water pooling from these cleaning activities. If you or your family becomes injured by the fire debris, call 911 or consult your family physician or local hospital emergency room as soon as possible. What if I need to contact the RCMP? If you have an emergency, call 911. If your complaint is a non-emergency and does not require immediate response, then please call the Slave Lake Detachment at 780-849-3999 during office hours to report this incident. How do I get back any property recovered from my residence during fire suppression operations? The return of the population of Slave Lake to the community is going to create considerable pressure upon the resources of the RCMP and although there will be additional RCMP members to provide 24/7 coverage, we will not be able to provide everyone with immediate access to their possessions. Please watch for information to be released through the media as soon as possible regarding how people will be able to identify and recover any items collected for safekeeping. All items located during the fire suppression operation will be identified to a specific residence, securely stored and only released to properly identified owners. More information on the process will be forthcoming. Neighbourhood Security The citizens of Slave Lake have always looked after their neighbours, and after this trying time this cooperation is needed even more than ever. After you get back to your home, please keep in mind that your friends and neighbours may not have returned or be otherwise involved. Keep your eyes open and report any suspicious activities or people to 911, so together we will keep our community safe and secure.