World Renew responded to the unparalleled flooding that happened on June 19, 2013, in southern Alberta that forced 100,000 people from their homes and killed three.

World Renew responded to the unparalleled flooding that happened on June 19, 2013, in southern Alberta that forced 100,000 people from their homes and killed three.

World Renew Disaster Response Services (DRS) volunteers responded quickly to muck-out homes, pump-out water, and do other clean up. 

In High River, Alberta, World Renew DRS assisted with community organizing and training community leaders in long-term recovery. Three World Renew staff, two case managers and a construction coordinator, managed the reconstruction projects and advocated for flood survivors, ensuring they received the help they needed and qualified for.

In September 2013, World Renew DRS interviewed 235 residents, identifying many flood-related needs which included urgent personal needs, household needs, and home repair projects. World Renew DRS case workers then made sure those residents’ needs were met.

From January 2014 through October 2015, World Renew DRS operated a reconstruction site in High River, sending back-to-back teams of reconstruction volunteers who repaired or rebuilt 43 homes.

Becky is a High River resident who stopped by for dinner with some World Renew DRS volunteers who were working on her home after it was damaged in a 2013 flood. As they shared the meal together, Becky talked about her experiences during the flood. She encouraged everyone on the volunteer team when she said, “You don’t just fix houses – you fix people’s spirits.”

Becky’s experiences with the volunteers included enjoying the chatter and laughter that rose from the basement as the volunteers worked. It was a welcome change, Becky noted, from the quietness in the house after her husband passed away.  When she was feeling broken with grief and loneliness, the joyful, servant-hearted attitude of World Renew DRS volunteers helped restore apart of her weary spirit.

To learn more about Becky and the response, please see the Program Update published at the conclusion of the response in High River.

This recovery work was supported by donations from churches and individuals across North America as well as grants from the Canadian Red Cross and the Town of High River, Alberta.

Fast Facts: World Renew DRS High River Response

  • Zero homeowners received insurance settlements for damages to their homes for overland flooding.

  • 94 percent of the homes in High River were affected.

  • 43 were homes repaired or rebuilt.

  • 315 homeowners received help in applying for assistance from the provincial government.

  • 549 volunteers worked in High River during the flood response.

  • 66,571 work hours were donated by volunteers after the flood.

  • 235 unmet needs surveys were completed.

  • 3,350 total contacts with homeowners were made by volunteers.

  • 4 other organizations like World Renew were involved in the recovery.