P.E.I. government moving from response to recovery after Dorian

The provincial government announced more details Monday about its response to post-tropical storm Dorian.

Premier Dennis King, Minister of Justice and Public Safety Bloyce Thompson and Minister of Social Development and Housing Ernie Hudson held a press conference in Charlottetown Monday afternoon.

There were no new details on the disaster assistance program announced by the provincial Emergency Measures Organization over the weekend.

"EMO and partners have worked on rollout so that when it is ready it will be as smooth as possible for Islanders to qualify," Thompson said.

"We want this to be easy and clear as possible. The last thing we want right now is to cause more stress on Islanders with any confusion or difficulty for registration or eligibility."

Travis Kingdon/CBC

Thompson said Islanders should be working with their insurers first. He advised people to take photos or videos of everything, and keep receipts.

Hudson reaffirmed that the roughly 6,000 people on income assistance will receive money as early as Thursday. The province had announced that all individuals on income assistance will receive a one-time payment of $110.

Couples would receive $140 and an extra $30 for each dependant.

Hudson also said that an additional 100 families who were not regular clients of food banks were able to use the food bank system on P.E.I. after the province announced an additional $50,000 last Wednesday.

Steve Bruce/CBC

Thompson said he has been in contact with federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale and was working on details for a shared assistance program that deals with disasters.

He also said there is no specific dollar figure for that help as they are still working on assessments in the hardest hit industries — agriculture, fishing and tourism.

He said there would be no delay in funding because of the federal election.

Premier King said now that Maritime Electric has power restored, provincial workers will be focusing on clearing roads.

"There is a lot of tree removal. There is a lot of issues like that where we have to make the roads more fully accessible then maybe they are right now," King said.

Post-mortem of response

The premier indicated that while they are not yet in a position to do so, a post-mortem of the government response will take place so that best practices can be found.

"Communications process has been — demonstrates how reliant we've become on social media," said King.

"I think what we've noticed, you know, 15 or 20 or 30 hours into this is that people weren't getting access to social media so we tried to utilize more conventional ways of communicating."

Thompson said they will be in talks going forward about how to deal with emergency responders not having cellular connections.

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