Kiwanis Club planning for disaster

Program helps disabled, elderly residents in mind
By: Gloria Beverage
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Two years ago a severe snowstorm and lengthy power outage stranded many elderly and disabled residents.
Now members of the Colfax Kiwanis Club are taking action to ensure residents with special needs won’t be left out in the cold again.
Donna Barkle, a member of the club and a Colfax city council member, is spearheading the development of SNAP (Special Needs Assistance Program), a database identifying people with special needs within the community.
“This is totally funded and staffed by the Kiwanis,” she said.
While conferring with the Office of Emergency Services, the city of Colfax as well as the Placer County Sheriff’s Office and CalFire, Barkle realized an informal survey of those with special needs or health issues could serve as the foundation of an emergency assistance program.
“We were told if we would put together a database that they would put together emergency warming (or cooling) centers,” she said.
A strictly voluntary program, the information being requested would be available only to emergency response agencies during a severe storm, lengthy power outage or other “disaster,” Barkle explained.
In the event of a power outage, the Office of Emergency Services, the Red Cross or the Salvation Army would set up either warming or cooling centers in the community, while volunteers would staff them, Barkle added.
In addition, Kiwanis Club members as well as volunteers from Meadow Vista to Alta would provide transportation to the centers to those not in need of emergency care or medical treatment.
Barkle envisions providing prepared meals, water, propane, firewood or stove pellets to residents able to stay in their homes.
“At no cost, we may be able to provide oxygen to those who need it,” she said.
All information provided in the survey will be kept confidential, Barkle stressed.
“We will call quarterly to update the information,” she said. “And residents can call me to update their information at anytime.”
For more information or for a survey form, call Barkle at 368-0776.

Special Needs Assistance Program
A database of information
Where: Open to residents of Colfax area
When: To assist elderly and disabled in event of disaster
To apply, call 368-0776