More resources are coming to Quadra Island to help vulnerable seniors through power outages and heat waves.
United Way BC awarded Quadra Circle, a local organization that provides support and services to seniors, with an emergency preparedness and response grant worth $25,000 to help shore up emergency response.
The goal of this project is to identify the most vulnerable seniors in the community through established, member-based organizations like Quadra Circle and its Better at Home program, the Neighbourhood Emergency Preparedness Program, Old Age Pensioners, Quadra Island Seniors Housing Society, Quadra Legion Branch 154, Quadra ICAN and local medical clinics—and to provide education and resources most effectively for those individuals in their homes.
“Through this pilot program, we will strengthen existing community partnerships and develop new ones with organizations, businesses and individuals who want to do something practical to impact the effects of seniors isolation and extreme weather on our island.” said Maureen McDowell, the President of Quadra Circle.
The funding will allow Quadra Circle to have a network of volunteers and contractors to respond quickly to at-risk seniors. The network will help distribute portable air conditioners, fans and generators; clear snowed-in driveways for access by homecare workers and other service providers; and fix frozen water lines and other damaged infrastructure.
During the 2021 Heat Dome most deaths of seniors were in homes without adequate cooling systems such as air conditioners or fans. More than two thirds of people who died had a chronic illness that could potentially impact mobility.
“Quadra Island has no public transportation, and many seniors won’t or can’t go to warming or cooling centres,” said a release from Quadra Circle. “To become more resilient to climate change we need to understand that while these centers provide comfort to many, they are not a useful tool for preventing injury or death during extreme weather events in rural communities.”
Quadra Circle will be informing people of the new resources with a mail out, email, newsletters and a door-to-door campaign. There will also be subsidized wildfire prevention and weatherproofing services for low-income seniors.
“I admire the tenacity and progressiveness of all of those involved in this collaborative grassroots project,” said Strathcona Regional District’s Protective Services Coordinator, Shaun Koopman. “This is exactly the type of community-organized initiatives that are required to build resilience to climate change.”
To learn more about, become involved with, or donate to Quadra Circle, please visit www.quadracircle.ca.