Apply for disaster recovery assistance
Find out if you’re in an activation area and eligible to apply for financial help after a natural disaster.
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Disaster recovery assistance has been activated:
- in parts of the City of Sarnia for the heavy rainfall that occurred on August 4, 2022
Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians (DRAO) is a program that can help you recover costs after a natural disaster. We may activate DRAO for damage to private property if there’s a sudden, unexpected natural event, such as a flood or tornado that causes costly and widespread damage in your area.
If you are eligible, you could be reimbursed for:
- clean up expenses
- costs to repair or replace essential property
- basic emergency expenses like evacuation travel costs
Eligibility and coverage
Once the DRAO program has been activated, you can apply for help in all the categories that apply to you. They are:
- small, owner-operated businesses
- small, owner-operated farms
- not-for-profit organizations
- homeowners (primary residence only) and residential tenants
Financial help from the program:
- is limited to $250,000 per application
- is subject to a $500 deductible, which may be waived for low-income households
- reimburses up to 90% of your total eligible costs with limits for:
- emergency expenses
- household appliances
The program is not intended to replace insurance coverage. Insurance payments are deducted from eligible costs.
Note: Applicants with insurance may be eligible for additional payment under the program only if insurance coverage is insufficient to cover the essentials. The program is meant to meet basic needs only. Homeowners with more than $275,000 in insurance coverage are not likely to be eligible under the program.
For more information on applying as a small, owner-operated business read the program guidelines.
|Activation area and map (PDF)||Date of event||Application deadline||Additional information (PDF)|
|2022 Sarnia floods||August 4, 2022||Friday, April 21, 2023||Infosheet - Homeowners and Tenants|
|2022 Sarnia floods||August 4, 2022||Friday, April 21, 2023||Infosheet - Small Businesses and Farms|
How to apply
To apply for the DRAO program:
- Read the program guidelines.
- Understand the eligibility caps on household items.
- Complete an application form:
- Collect supporting documents such as:
- a letter from your insurance provider detailing your coverage
- receipts or invoices for items and repairs you’ve already paid for
- estimates or quotes for repairs that still need to be done
- records that show the number of hours spent on your emergency cleanup
- photographs of damage to your property
- proof of residence (driver’s license, Ontario photo card, etc.)
- a copy of your most recent property tax bill (if you’re a homeowner)
- a copy of the most recent notice of assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency for every adult in your household (if you qualify as a low-income household)
- Keep copies of your application form and supporting documents.
- Submit your application form and supporting documents to us.
- If you have trouble with the application form or still have questions after reading the program guidelines, contact us:
- email: DisasterAssistance@Ontario.ca
Caps for household items
The DRAO program can help to recover the cost of replacing essential household items that were damaged or destroyed in the disaster. To get reimbursed you must show proof of purchase by attaching receipts that clearly show the item was purchased after the damage.
The items in your application must:
- be essential for your home (for example, a second fridge or guest room furniture will not qualify)
- have already been replaced or will be replaced very soon
The Eligibility caps table below lists the types of household items that are covered and the maximum amount you can get for each one.
Maximum amounts or “caps” on household items are determined by comparing prices for standard models at retail outlets across the province. For each household item, up to 10 prices are compared to get the average consumer cost.
For more examples of eligible and ineligible items, read the program guidelines.
Eligibility caps table (Updated August 2020)
|Bedrooms||Maximum eligibility cap|
Adult bed (mattress, box spring, frame)
Child bed (mattress, box spring, frame)
Other bedroom furnishings (e.g., dresser, nightstand, lamp, curtains, rug, bed linens)
|Kitchen/dining area||Maximum eligibility cap|
Dishes and cutlery (fewer than three people in household)
Dishes and cutlery (three or more people in household)
Table and four chairs (fewer than three people in household)
Table and six chairs (three or more people in household)
Other small appliances (e.g., kettle, toaster, coffee maker, toaster oven)
Kitchen miscellaneous (e.g., dish towels, kitchen cooking utensils)
Stove / range
|Infant/child essentials||Maximum eligibility cap|
Infant essentials (e.g., bed/crib, pad, blankets, mattress, playpen, stroller, car seat, high chair)
Booster seat for car
|Bathroom essentials||Maximum eligibility cap|
Curtains / blinds (per window)
Towels and toiletries (fewer than three people in household)
Towels and toiletries (three or more people in household)
|Main gathering room||Maximum eligibility cap|
Couch / seating (fewer than three people in household)
Couch / seating (three or more people in household)
Main gathering room furnishings (e.g., coffee tables, lamps, curtains)
|Laundry/cleaning room||Maximum eligibility cap|
Household miscellaneous (e.g., broom, iron,
Clothes washing machine
|Other household items||Maximum eligibility cap|
Carbon monoxide detector (adjacent to each sleeping area)
Landline phone (receiver unit)
Cellphone (physical unit – if no landline)
Computer hardware, software and peripherals
Essential Clothing (e.g., winter clothing)
Food in long-term storage (e.g., deep freezer)
Caps for emergency evacuation expenses
If evacuation is needed, temporary living expenses for accommodations and meals are eligible. Eligibility is limited to the immediate emergency period only (14 days maximum). See chart below for eligible expenses and whether receipts are required. Your adjuster may request additional information to support the need for evacuation, for example, evidence of power outage or evacuation order.
|Evacuation and emergency living expenses||Maximum eligibility cap|
Emergency accommodation (e.g., hotel)
$120/night (4 persons) for up to 14 days. Receipts required.
Meals, emergency clothing, and personal care items
$30/person/day for up to 14 days. Receipts not required.
Pets boarded to kennels
$20/cat/day for up to 14 days. Receipts required.
Evacuation by own vehicle
40¢/km in Southern Ontario
The DRAO program reimburses people for eligible expenses causes by natural disasters. Therefore, proof of payment, such as a receipt or paid invoice, is required to receive final payment and close the file. Applicants who cannot afford to pay upfront for costs of repairs or replacement could be eligible for advance payments to get them started and should submit quotes or estimates as soon as possible with their application.
Once you get a decision on your DRAO application, you have 45 calendar days to file for reconsideration starting from the date on the decision letter.
For example, if the date on the decision letter is August 24, your application for reconsideration must be sent before October 8.
You can apply to have us reconsider:
- your eligibility for the program
- the amount of money you received
How to apply
To have your application reconsidered:
- Complete the request for reconsideration form:
- Collect documents to support your request
- Submit the form and your supporting documents to us
Submit your application
Send your application forms, supporting documents and reconsideration requests to DisasterAssistance@Ontario.ca or mail them to:
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Disaster Recovery Assistance Program
P.O. Box 73038
Wood Street Post Office
Toronto ON M4Y 1X4
After submitting an application, you will receive a confirmation of receipt from the ministry and your file will be assigned to an adjuster for review. If there are additional disaster related costs after you apply, you can send additional documents directly to your adjuster.
Additional help for low-income families
If you live in a low-income household, you can apply to get:
- $500 deductible waived
- reimbursed for repairs to damage caused by a sewer backup
To be eligible, the total income for all adults in your household must be below the threshold shown in the low-income thresholds table. You can add the net income from line 236 of notice of assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
|People in household|
|Total income for all adults:|
tax year 2019
|Total income for all adults:|
tax year 2020