In late October 2012, as many Americans prepared for their annual Halloween festivities, Lady Ramsdell prepared for something truly frightening. Hurricane Sandy loomed large over the East Coast, and Lady was told by authorities that evacuation was mandatory, as her home in Mantoloking was among many others in the path of the storm. Just one week earlier, she’d put that home on the market as she made plans to move to Harrogate.
As the fierce winds and violent rains moved closer, Lady found shelter at what would become her new home. Her apartment at Harrogate wasn’t quite available, but that didn’t stop the community from opening its doors to a future resident in need. Lady was offered to stay in another apartment during the storm, and chose to live there until hers was move-in ready.
“We’re truly a family here, and families care for one another during the storms of life, especially when it’s a literal storm,” said Harrogate executive director Don Johansen. “We knew Lady was about to become a part of our family, and we were happy to have the ability to provide an early move-in.”
Once the storm passed, the challenge wasn’t over for Lady. As she made new friends at Harrogate, the pieces of her life scattered by Sandy were still in Mantoloking. She sold her home in January of 2014, after spending much of her first year at Harrogate going back and forth working on the repair process.
The storm also led to other move-ins at Harrogate, as a dozen residents chose the community following the impact of the hurricane on their homes.
While hurricanes are always a possibility, Lady says Harrogate’s plan of action in the event of a storm gives her great peace of mind. She’s able to enjoy the life Harrogate provides, and build upon those friendships she made at a time when friends were what she needed most.