The Hope Citizens Emergency & Disaster Planning Committee (HCEDPC) wants seniors to be more prepared for emergency situations. And they’re hoping to do it one bag at a time.
As Hope’s citizens grow concerned over emergency preparedness plans, the HCEDPC is doing their part to make sure that seniors — one of the community’s most vulnerable groups — aren’t forgotten. The group is currently running their Ready-Set-Go! Seniors campaign — a pilot project that equips seniors with the knowledge and items they need to better handle emergency situations.
“We applied for a micro-grant, through Fraser Health, and we got it. With it, we made 200 kits and they are for seniors only. Because who’s always forgotten? Seniors,” says Sharlene Harrison-Hinds, one of the organizers for the Ready-Set-Go! Seniors campaign and a member of the HCEDPC. “We want [seniors] to be prepared. We don’t want [seniors] to be deer in the headlights. We don’t want seniors to freeze during emergency situations. We want them to grab this — grab their emergency bag — and be ready to go.”
The HCEDPC are giving bags to seniors during Ready-Set-Go! Seniors information events that are taking place throughout the month. So far, more than 60 bags have been given out at Grace Baptist Church, Lunch with the Bunch, the Golden Agers and Beta Sigma Phi. More are scheduled to be distributed next week at the Park Street Manor, along with plans to distribute bags to Better at Home clients who are housebound and live alone.
Valued at $45 each, each kit is packed in a bright-red bag with a multitude of pockets. A number of items, including a blanket, a flashlight, a whistle, a first-aid kit, a water bottle, a notepad and pen, are in each bag. Documents, such as booklets — with information on how to prepare for floods, earthquakes, fires, and landslides — and pamphlets — with information about keeping safe during heatwaves — are also included. Instructions are also included to helps seniors sign up for the Alertable app.
The HCEDPC says they are grateful to the volunteers who helped to put together the bags last weekend (Nov. 5), despite the power outage. This included the Hope Secondary School Leadership crew who provided their services.
Created in response to the November floods that struck B.C. last year, the HCEDPC is a group of citizens who are “very concerned” about making sure their community is safe during emergency situations. This includes raising public awareness about emergency events — such as wildfires, floods, earthquakes, and landslides — advocating for emergency preparedness plans for the community, and advocating for better communication between the District of Hope and the community.
“We’re a stimulus for our council to make plans for preparations for emergencies,” says Harrison-Hinds. “We know seniors are the last to get paid attention to… [and we don’t want] seniors to be at the mercy of a system that doesn’t seem to [care].”
To find out more information about the campaign, and where the bags will be given out next, contact Harrison-Hinds at email@example.com.