Lifespace Communities Prepare For, Persevere Through Hurricane Irma

September 27, 2017

in Organization News

Taking all the necessary steps to prepare for crisis situations is critical, but one can never fully understand the uncertainty posed by a natural disaster until they face one head-on. Thankfully, Lifespace Communities’ planning and preparation allowed team members to help residents safely weather the storm as Hurricane Irma barreled through the Southeast. At the five Lifespace communities in Florida, residents were able to remain confident that their safety and well-being were in good hands throughout the storm.

Precautionary measures included having team members available to provide care, backup generators, and enough food, water, supplies and medication for the duration of the storm. Residents were securely sheltered in place at Village on the Green,  Abbey Delray and Abbey Delray South communities. Village on the Green also took in evacuees from a nearby skilled nursing community that faced extensive damage and experienced power loss. Harbour’s Edge and The Waterford safely relocated residents prior to Irma making landfall.

Lifespace set up a hurricane hotline to provide residents, team members and their families the most up-to-date status at each community. Community websites and social media pages were also consistently updated. These protocols were well received by the affected parties, who applauded the peace of mind it provided.

Tommy Schuster, of Friendship Village of South Hills (PA), was one of several Lifespace team members who traveled south to assist with recovery activities at Lifespace communities in Florida.

“You did us proud,” wrote resident Carol Cullen. “Thank you for the thorough planning and execution, and the upbeat demeanor of your team in handling Irma. You all need to take a bow to grateful applause!”

Fortunately, the storm’s impact on the five communities was minimal and all residents and team members remained unharmed. Exemplary team work was crucial in making this possible. Executive directors, leaders and team members across the Lifespace organization performed vital tasks that were well beyond their scopes of responsibility. This included the many associates who handled the complexities of sheltering in place or evacuating residents, the nearly 20 Lifespace team members from other communities who traveled south to Florida to lend a helping hand and the health professionals who tirelessly cared for residents. Lifespace’s bevy of resources was also beneficial, giving communities the flexibility to reallocate their services and personnel in response to the situation.

The team’s commitment didn’t go unnoticed, with many residents expressing gratitude for the unrelenting dedication and service. Alvin and Ellen Perlman stated, “Thank you for all the work that was put in during this period of great anxiety and stress. The willingness of your team members to place our welfare before their personal concerns and family needs exceeded expectations in providing a safe and secure environment for all of us.”

There were so many expressions of appreciation to Lifespace team members who displayed amazing efforts to ensure residents were safe and comfortable throughout the storm and its aftermath. Special gratitude also goes out to Thomas Cuisine Management for keeping everyone well fed under the challenging circumstances. There have been many amazing acts of generosity and support in dealing with Hurricane Irma, and Lifespace is working on telling those stories in the coming weeks.

(In the top photo: Harbour’s Edge residents found respite and comfort at a Disney resort after evacuating their community in preparation for Hurricane Irma.)

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