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Fort McMurray fires force evacuation
As emergency services battle the wildfires threatening Fort McMurray, the mandatory evacuation order led to thousands of vehicles streaming north and south along evacuation routes. AMA operations immediately went into Emergency Operating Procedures as we focused our Travel, Insurance and Roadside Assistance teams on helping citizens get to safe ground. Continually updating information is available at ama.ab.ca/wildfire.
AMA Roadside Assistance
Our local AMA centre was closed and emergency services suspended towing operations to help manage the flow of traffic along Highway 63 and 881 as 90,000 residents fled the city. While AMA Roadside Assistance is still unable to enter the City of Fort McMurray, we have received authorization to remove stranded vehicles and bring them to an RCMP staging area in Wandering River where vehicles will be cataloged and the owners contacted. We’re on standby to assist with cleanup, towing, fuel delivery and other roadside services as soon as law enforcement and emergency responders deem it appropriate. Watch amaroadreports.ca or follow @AMARoadReports on twitter for traffic congestion updates and roadside assistance wait times.
As we provide support for those affected by the fires, AMA Insurance claims representatives are available online, in centre or through a 24/7 toll-free number at 1-888-426-2444. We've been working around the clock to contact our policy holders, make sure they are safe, and ensure they have access to emergency funds. Our insurance claims teams are also at evacuation centres to be available face-to-face. Some of our centres have extended hours for claims. Find FAQs about insurance coverage and fire-related claims here. For those living near affected areas but outside the evacuation zone, find tips to protect your home on the AMA blog.
Until further notice, the Fort McMurray International Airport has been forced to suspend all arrivals and departures. Travelers can find updates at http://www.flyymm.com/flights/advisories. Those with trip cancellation or interruption insurance can make alternate arrangements with our travel counselors. AMA Travel is working with our airline partners and tour suppliers to help travelers without cancellation insurance to accommodateindividual situations. AMA is reaching out to all affected travelers to make sure they are safe and sound and travel counselors are assisting our claims team at evacuation centres, helping to book accommodations.
AMA centres can replace driver’s licences, ID cards, or birth certificates that were lost during evacuation, free of charge. This service is available to all those affected by the wildfires, whether or not you are an AMA member.
If you don’t have any identifying documents with you, our agents will work confirm your identity using a variety of checkpoints, including:
- Reviewing the images of you that we have on file.
- Comparing your signature with what is on file.
- Asking you questions about your previous address, phone numbers, and vehicle registration information.
How to Help
As the crisis unfolds, thousands of Albertans have been moved to step up and help out. The most direct and effective way to support the community is by donating money to the Canadian Red Cross online, by calling 1-800-418-1111 or texting REDCROSS to 30333 to make a $5 donation. Residents in Edmonton can also donate diapers, baby wipes and toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes) by dropping them off at AB Emergency Response Services, 10255-104 St. in Edmonton.
All AMA centres across Alberta will be acting as drop-off locations for donations to local food banks and for new toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste etc.) to distribute through Emergency Relief Services.
For interview requests with AMA experts, please contact the AMA Newsroom at 1-888-960-6397.
You can find operational updates from emergency services at:
- Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Newsroom 780-762-3660
- Province of Alberta's Provincial Operations Centre 1-866-618-2362
- Alberta RCMP Newsroom 780-412-5260
- Province of Alberta Newsroom 780-644-4863
- Alberta Emergency Alert https://twitter.com/AB_EmergAlert