By Haley Ryan - Metro Halifax
DARTMOUTH - When families and friends call the Canadian Red Cross to find out if their loved ones in Alberta are alright, they‚Äôll hear a Maritime voice on the end of the line.
© The Canadian Press/Jonathan Hayward
A flooded downtown Calgary is seen from a aerial view of the city Saturday.
Sixty volunteers in Dartmouth, Saint John, N.B. and Moncton, N.B. have been taking information from those affected by the flooding in Calgary and other towns, to create a registry for busy Red Cross workers thousands of kilometres away.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs really a way to get a handle on ‚Ä¶ whether they‚Äôre in shelter or if they‚Äôve gone to stay with family,‚ÄĚ said Dan Bedell, Atlantic spokesperson for the Canadian Red Cross.
There‚Äôs no need for our disaster teams in Alberta to be occupied with that,‚ÄĚ Bedell said. ‚ÄúThat can be done from anywhere.‚ÄĚ
Bedell said since Friday, the Red Cross centre in Burnside alone has received over 500 phone calls from people either updating their whereabouts or making sure friends are accounted for.
He said volunteers have been operating in shifts of about 15 people at once, three times a day.
So far, Atlantic Canada has sent five volunteers to Alberta (four from Newfoundland and Labrador and one from P.E.I.) to help manage things hands-on.
Bedell said the public can specify ‚ÄúAlberta flood response‚ÄĚ if you send in a Red Cross donation.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre not looking for material things, it‚Äôs much more flexible for us to have funding to respond to the needs immediately in the area,‚ÄĚ Bedell said.