BC Floods: Legal and Financial Resources

Given the impact severe weather and flooding has had in many BC communities this year, folks may be coming to their local libraries for support or information to help deal with the unexpected legal and financial consequences that have arisen. We hope this post can be of help to you! 

In keeping with our prior post during Wildfire season, we’ve gathered relevant information and options for help related to housing, finances, insurance, pets, ID, and more.  

Legal & Financial Support Resources 

  • EmergencyInfoBC shares resources during partial and full-scale provincial emergencies. On this website, you’ll find information on financial assistance, safety and emergency preparedness, evacuation orders and alerts, travel advisories, and more. 

  • You can find links to information about BC’s Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) program. Of note, the 90-day deadline for applications is March 3, 2022. The program has been expanded for people affected by flooding and landslides from Nov. 14 to Dec. 2, 2021, and now includes British Columbians in the Northwest, Southwest, Central, and Southeast areas of the province and on Vancouver Island.   

  • BC’s Residential Tenancy Branch created a Natural disaster and tenancies webpage which includes information for landlords and tenants regarding rent during evacuations, resolving disputes, assessing the damage, and more. 

  • BC Hydro’s Help for evacuees provides information on credits and payment plans for residential and commercial customers. 

  • Small Business BC’s BC Flood Resources for Small Businesses provides answers to FAQs on issues affecting small business owners. 

  • The Insurance Bureau of Canada provides information on what is covered, tips for starting the claims process, FAQ, and links to resources. People can speak with someone directly through their Consumer Information Center at 1-844-2ask-IBC (1-844-227-5422). 

  • ICBC’s Fire and weather damage page offers information regarding the claims process and the steps involved for those whose vehicles were damaged. To replace a lost driver's license, BC Services Card, and/or BC identification card, you can direct people to visit a driver licensing office or call 1-800-950-1498. 

  • Vancouver Humane Society's Flood Evacuee Veterinary Support program offers financial help with veterinary costs for pets. 

  • Access Pro Bono created a number of FAQ sheets during the wildfire season, and several of the issues covered may be relevant to people affected by flooding. The topics are: 

Legal Advice 

  • Legal Aid BC has a province-wide Call Centre providing legal representation and information services. Call 1-866-577-2525 (toll-free) or 604-408-2172 (Greater Vancouver) to ask for legal help. Eligibility criteria may apply. 

  • Access Pro Bono provides free legal advice to those impacted by flooding. Call 1-877-762-6664 or fill out their online form. Eligibility criteria may apply. 

  • You can also use the Clicklaw HelpMap or PovNet’s Find an Advocate tool to locate legal help in a specific area. For communities directly affected by flooding, it may be best to contact these organizations directly to see if their service hours have been impacted.  

  • https://www.clicklaw.bc.ca/helpmap 

  • https://www.povnet.org/find-an-advocate 

All these links have been gathered together in a new Clicklaw Common Question, available here: What kinds of assistance are available to people affected by flooding in BC? 

Clicklaw Common Questions https://www.clicklaw.bc.ca/solveproblems/questions are always a good place to start when searching for legal information, as they provide a brief summary, links to starting points in your searching, and a list of places to go for legal help. 

Remember, you can also get in touch with our reference librarians if you need help in the moment. Our toll-free number and reference email service are staffed Monday through Friday, 9-4, excepting holidays.  

Toll-free number: 1-800-665-2570 

Email: librarian@courthouselibrary.ca  

This is our farewell and final post for 2021. We hope you all have a safe, warm, and festive holiday season, and we’ll see you all back in 2022. In January, we’ll return with the second installment in our series on evictions.

Until then, all our best to you and yours!