WINNIPEG -- The Manitoba government announced Thursday that it will be giving disaster financial assistance to eligible municipalities, homeowners, farms and small businesses impacted in the October 2019 snowstorm.

“When a widespread natural disaster strikes and creates an unreasonable financial burden, DFA may be made available to help individuals and local authorities recover,” said Premier Brian Pallister in a news release. 

“The fall storm resulted in widespread damage, and the DFA program will help cover the costs of response and recovery from the overall weather event.”

According to the province, disaster financial assistance is usually given as a last resort for the costs of evacuations, municipal response, damaged infrastructure, and non-insurable damage to principal homes, as well as buildings used to operate farms and small businesses. 

The government encourages home and businesses owners to first look to private insurance claims for help, and check insurance coverage to make sure they are protected against potential risks. 

The province is allowed to provide financial assistance to residents following natural disasters, if the event meets the criteria outlined in the Manitoba Emergency Measures Act, but it can also receive money from the federal government through disaster financial assistance arrangements. Pallister said he’s confident Manitoba will receive federal funding for the impacts of the October storm.

Applications and more information can be found online or by calling the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization. Most municipal offices also have applications.

 The province previously announced a compensation program related to the use of the Red River Floodway in the fall.