Barrie tornado: Need help? Want to help? Here’s how

Following the EF-2 tornado that damaged hundreds of south Barrie homes and injured eleven neighbours, there’s been an outpouring of support. So much so, they’re running out of room for it all.

If you need help:

As of noon Friday, the first point of contact for anyone affected by Thursday’s tornado should be the Saint Gabriel the Archangel Catholic School triage centre at 130 Prince William Way.

David Latinsky, volunteer coordinator at the triage centre says they’re fully stocked on items that meet immediate needs. “Right now we have water and non-perishable food items set up, we have toiletries for anybody who needs anything like that, we’ve got feminine hygiene products, everything like that,” said Latinsky. “We’ve got coffee, we’ve got breakfast items, we’ve got fruits, as well. So if anybody needs to, come on in and get that kind of stuff. We have plenty.”

The Barrie Police Service has set up a central phone line for anyone needing assistance in relation to the tornado. Call (705) 728-8442 and leave your contact information. The appropriate organization will follow up.

A support group for affected residents has also been set up. Barrie Tornado Residents Support Group is expected to be updated with new resources as the situation progresses.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada has a Consumer Information Centre that affected residents can call – 1-844-227-5422 – to ask about policies and to understand the process of addressing damage

How you can help

There are two ways to help right now: donate your time or donate your money. Officials have no place left to put all the donated items they’ve received in the less than 24 hours since the tornado struck.

Those wishing to make a financial donation can do so through the Facebook group Barrie Families Unite (BFU). Email money transfers can be sent through BFUtornado@gmail.com.

For those hoping to volunteer their time and aid with distributing donations or cleanup, another grassroots Facebook page has been established, called Barrie Tornado Volunteers.

Monetary donations to help those affected are being accepted by the Salvation Army, by dropping off at their 16 Bayfield St. location, while it is advised you mark your donations as “tornado relief”. Alternatively, visit salvationarmy.ca for credit card donations and specify ‘Barrie tornado’.

Anyone wishing to donate items such as food or clothing are asked to hold off for now. The City of Barrie, Barrie Families Unite, and Barrie Police Service all report being at capacity with donations for now.

To be added to a list to offer assistance or donations, please email ServiceBarrie@barrie.ca. The Salvation Army will distribute the donations received so far to those in need and arrange for pickup of perishables and large quantities of certain items. 

Residents who do not live in the area affected by the tornado are being asked to stay away for the time being, to allow recovery efforts to continue.