NPA park commissioner seeks support for voluntary registry of vulnerable people to contact during a heat emergency

Tricia Barker thinks that this could save seniors' lives the next time the city is hit with very high temperatures

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      An unprecedented heat dome over British Columbia resulted in nearly 500 more sudden deaths than the norm in this province.

      That catastrophic loss of life from June 25 to July 1 has led to a motion coming before the Vancouver park board on Monday (July 19).

      NPA commissioner Tricia Barker will seek fellow commissioners' support to "request staff to develop and implement a seniors and other vulnerable people safety plan to be employed in times of high temperatures".

      "The plan would include, but not be limited to developing a voluntary registry of seniors and other vulnerable people to facilitate contacting them during a heat emergency," the motion states.

      In addition, the motion seeks the board's support to work with the city and provincial governments "to provide a framework to deploy staff and resources that can be immediately deployed in the event of another heat emergency".

      The motion also called for staff to consult and work closely with the city's seniors' advisory committee and people with disabilities advisory committee.

      In addition, the motion calls on the park board to conduct an inventory and status check on cooling aids under its jurisdiction. This includes drinking fountains, benches in shaded areas, and misting and cooling stations.

      "We have an aging population in Vancouver and many of these people live alone in homes without adequate air conditioning or other methods to keep them cool," the motion states. "Some people that live alone do not have a safety net of friends and family to check on them in times of emergency."