In May 2016, devastating wildfires caused 80,000 residents of Fort McMurray, Alberta, to evacuate with only minutes of warning. For TD, it was a call to action – to help the community, our customers and the 30 TD employees who call Fort McMurray home.
“49 years of our life: there’s nothing left.”
Claude Bureau, TD Business Customer
What started as a regular day in a remote community north of Edmonton ended with dramatic images of cars and trucks evacuating a town engulfed in flames.
The wildfires quickly spread from forests to neighbourhoods – growing to an area spanning more than 500,000 hectares. These images made headline news around the world as the residents of Fort McMurray packed a few items and left.
It took almost two months before the state of emergency was lifted and people were able to return to the city. Residents faced major disruption and hardship – including destroyed homes and belongings, lost income, elevated stress, and more. In the community, schools, playgrounds and stores – were all ravaged by the relentless fires.
The broader economic impact of the Fort McMurray fires – on the region, province and country – was unprecedented, ranking as the most expensive natural disaster in Canadian history for insurance providers.1
John Sopinski/The Globe and Mail > Source: CHMC; Google Maps
Estimated total financial impact – including the cost of lost buildings, income and environmental damage.2
Wiped out, including homes and buildings – roughly 15% of the city’s structures.3
Including 27,000+ personal property claims, over 12,000 auto insurance claims and more than 5,000 commercial insurance claims.4
From the very first moments of crisis, we at TD immediately stepped up to do the right thing for our customers.
Our effort involved many areas of the organization, from our insurance and banking businesses to our Community Relations group. Leading the charge, TD Insurance was first on the ground, days before the city was open to the public.
By mobilizing quickly and focusing on comfort and care, the TD Insurance team provided empathetic support and advice on the phone, online and in locations across the affected area.
“To have all of these people working together to try and get me back home, it’s a great feeling and such a relief when you can get back to your regular life.”
Zack Bennett, TD Insurance customer
TD employees across the company joined forces to make a difference, not just creating banking solutions in a difficult time, but also helping out with critical life needs.
At the top of the organization, TD executives responded immediately to personally oversee emergency support and review opportunities to best support our customers, including the decision to quickly distribute funds to help with early costs of the evacuation. Regional TD employees united to form the "TD Comfort Crew," with volunteers driving vans to distribute water, food, clothing, toiletries and other essentials to evacuees at 10 TD branches and four emergency shelters.
For our banking customers, we:
TD donated $240,000 to the Canadian Red Cross, and we pledged to match all public donations up to $100,000 made through our branch and business networks. Thanks to the generosity of TD employees and customers, we raised $6 million in donations – the bank’s most successful disaster appeal.
“TD will continue to rally behind this community, and we want Fort McMurray to know that we’re in this together and we’re in it for the long haul.”
Brian Gervais, TD’s Senior Vice-President of Community Banking in the Prairie Region
Eager to extend additional aid to the relief efforts, TD was also the lead sponsor of four benefit concerts in Atlantic Canada. We also provided $500,000 to support a major benefit concert in Edmonton, Fire Aid for Fort McMurray. More than 30,000 people filled Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium to enjoy Canadian music from bands such as Blue Rodeo and to express gratitude for the actions of first responders and volunteers, who had given so much to fight the fires and keep the community safe.
The event raised more than $2 million for the community of Fort McMurray and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, and with TD paying the admission tickets for 1,000 first responders, this concert showcased public solidarity for the daunting rebuilding effort that lay ahead.
Raised by TD, its employees and customers to support the relief effort.
Provided by TD to support Fire Aid, a musical fundraiser in Edmonton that raised more than $2 million for Fort McMurray.
Donated by TD to the Canadian Red Cross.