EDITORIAL: Don’t leave your neighbours in cold

As temperatures inch downward, we should all be a little more vigilant towards our neighbours.

The situation at Breakaway Bays mobile home park – in which some residents, many of them seniors, were without power, heat or light for days – is a timely reminder that we should all be a little more vigilant about our neighbours, particularly at this time of year, with temperatures inching downward.

Long-term residents of the park said they could recall no similar situation in the past, and, hopefully, the particular set of circumstances that contributed to their distress that began last weekend will not be repeated in the future.

But it only takes one unexpected emergency to show, sometimes tragically, where gaps in our preparedness lie.

It’s a fact that winter brings with it a whole host of possible scenarios, from sudden dumps of snow to downed power lines. Storms can create havoc; but even a sudden plunge in temperature can prove just as fatal as a toppled tree.

Even if we have equipped ourselves to emerge from any emergency relatively unscathed, can we say the same for our neighbours?

Do you know someone who is a shut-in, who lives alone, or has only a pet for company? It doesn’t have to be a family member or even a close friend. It doesn’t have to be a senior – even the young can have challenges that can be compounded by extremes of weather.

Is there some procedure in place – even informally, but certainly not intrusively – that permits you to check on this person during circumstances that would try even the most able-bodied of us?

Are you aware of any ongoing conditions or needs that could affect this person? Do you know if he or she has some alert device, or some other way of summoning help, even without lights, heat or telephone service?

Is there something you could pick up for them at the store? Would you know if this person had been home for days, sick, without venturing out or having any human contact? Would you know if this person had been hospitalized, leaving a pet at home that needs feeding or other care?

We have all been raised with some modicum of self-sufficiency, and may have family and friends around us to help us through most of our crises. Many of us probably take our health and well-being for granted.

But most of us can think of a time when we have been alone and needed help – and realized just how frightening that can be.

For us to help each other at a crucial moment doesn’t require a huge investment of time or capital. It doesn’t require the qualifications of a saint.

All it requires is basic, ordinary, human compassion.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP recover $80,000 worth of stolen property

Police found the property after executing two search warrants in Newton

White Rock approves scaled-up Festival of Lights for 2020

Event to run for nearly 60 days, and expand from the white rock to Oxford Street

White Rock to encourage Uber, Lyft to operate in city

South Surrey and White Rock are without ride-hailing services, for now

Annual Battle of the Badges hockey game to combat bullying in Delta schools

This year’s Battle of the Badges takes place at Sungod Arena on Pink Shirt Day (Wednesday, Feb. 26)

Trains through White Rock, Surrey could be affected by rail blockades

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

VIDEO: Giants win 10th straight on home ice in Langley

Family Day was about spending time with the fans and dazzling them with a 3-2 victory over Seattle

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

Most Read

l -->