On November 19, Norfolk County Council passed a resolution requesting that the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing activate the Disaster Recovery Assistance Program (DRAO) to assist permanent homeowners with the costs of cleaning, repairing and replacing essential property in the wake of the Oct. 31 storm and flood.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) administers the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians program (DRAO). The program helps reimburse disaster related costs such as those associated with repairing, restoring and cleaning primary residences, and repairing or replacing essential property (e.g. furnaces, stoves, refrigerators, etc.).

The program is not a replacement for insurance and does not cover all costs. For example, costs associated with soil erosion, shoreline protection (e.g. break walls), decks, docks, etc. are not covered under the program. DRAO is designed to ‘help people get back on their feet’.

DRAO may be activated by the Minister of MMAH, within a defined boundary, when there is evidence that a sudden, unexpected, extraordinary natural event (e.g. tornado, severe flooding, etc.) has caused costly, widespread damage to program eligible private property (e.g. primary residence, furnace, stove, etc.).

MMAH works closely with municipalities to determine the scope and impact of a significant natural event. If needed, they may deploy a Provincial Disaster Assessment Team (PDAT) to collect additional information.

Note that, if activated, the DRAO program will only cover primary residences and businesses. It does not cover seasonal residences.