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Seniors digest preparedness message

By June 17, 2024No Comments
Andrew DeGruchy, manager of emergency management for the City of Lloydminster, led off a lunch-and-learn presentation on how to prepare for an emergency to seniors at The Olive Tree on Friday. NAIT co-op student Sara Harlow acted as a co-presenter. Geoff Lee Meridian Source


Many local seniors found time to satisfy their hunger for information that could save their lives while enjoying a regular free meal.

More than 100 seniors turned up to digest a special lunch and learn presentation on emergency management at The Olive Tree on Friday.

“Friday is the usual seniors lunch. The city is putting on the program. We are supplying the volunteers to help out,” explained Faye Wood who wears many hats at the facility.

The event was an opportunity for seniors to learn how to prepare for hazards from Andrew DeGruchy, manager of emergency management with the City of Lloydminster and Sara Harlow, a co-op student from NAIT.

“With it being emergency preparedness week a few weeks ago, we wanted it to translate into information for our seniors who are one of our vulnerable sectors in the community,” said DeGruchy.

“We know from a personal household level, there’s things they can do to make sure they’re prepared in case of a hazard within the community happens.”

In a nutshell, being prepared is all about knowing the natural, technological and intentional risks, making a plan and putting together an emergency kit.

“Certainly, within Lloydminster, we have our fair share of industrial hazards with trains and some of the industries we’re in proximity to,” said DeGruchy.

He said we’re also not immune to some natural hazards such as tornadoes and wind storms while noting every year it seems like Lloyd gets hit with a big blizzard with potential power outages.

There’s a whole suite of hazards that can happen in our area says DeGruchy.

“If you know what the risks are within your community, it can help you build a conversation around those risks. A lot of times those conversations create a family plan as well as an emergency kit  in case an emergency kit does happen.”

Seniors were also given an emergency preparedness guide from the federal government and a handout on basic needs and supplies, cold climate supplies and supplies for their vehicles in the event of an emergency.

“Today we’re just giving some really basic information,” said DeGruchy.

The event was hosted by Lloydminster Family and Community Services (FCSS) with Patrick Lancaster manager of social programs on hand to promote a survey on the Seniors Taxi Program.

“We’re just collecting some feedback from residents about the senior taxi program,” said Lancaster.

“We want to hear from the users and we want to hear from the community.”

The taxi program has supported Lloydminster seniors with taxi vouchers for more than 40 years with the vouchers priced at just $5 for almost 20 years.

“We’ve had a lot of folks using the program. We estimate up to 500 seniors are using the program.

“Some use it regularly, some use it occasionally,” said Lancaster.

“A lot of seniors are on fixed incomes and the program makes getting around the community a lot more affordable for them. We want them to be getting places and out and active.”

The current program is subsidized by residents’ property tax contributions, but some tweaks might be in order to the formula with the survey results.

One of the questions asks users how they would like to allocate their property tax funding for the service.

“We’re going to take the information in and review it and see if there’s some opportunities to improve it,” said Lancaster.