If your house was damaged during the wildfire or you were forced from your home due to an evacuation order, notify your insurance broker immediately. Many policies have coverage for mass evacuation and additional living expenses.
Evacuees should return home only when authorities have advised it is okay to return. In some cases, such as in Fort McMurray, this could take months. The Fort McMurray fire forced 90,000 people from their homes and destroyed around 2,400 homes. Although around 80% of the town was undamaged, it took time to get power and water restored after the wildfire. It also takes time for authorities to assess the damage and ensure the fire is fully extinguished.
Once you return home after an evacuation, check your house and other structures for smoke, sparks or hidden embers; this includes checking your roof and attic. You should also check the ground for hot spots and smoldering stumps or vegetation. If there are any signs of an active fire, report it to authorities and leave the premise immediately. If there are any signs of damage, contact your insurance broker to report a claim. It is recommended that you continue to check your home for several days as flare ups can occur. If you home was damaged in the fire you will want to ensure your hydro meter was not damaged before turning on any appliances.
Continue to monitor the fire situation and alerts throughout the province as the wildfire situation is constantly changing.