To ensure we stay a fun-loving senior living community, we make disaster preparedness a top priority. As a new hurricane season approaches, Colorado State University recently issued its preliminary forecast. Their hurricane researchers expect a slightly above-average season, with 14 named storms. Seven of those are predicted to become hurricanes, and three are expected to be major hurricanes.
In 2017, three major hurricanes made landfall on American soil: Harvey, Irma and Maria. All three storms rank among the top five costliest hurricanes in U.S. history, with an estimated $265 billion in combined damage.
We plan for the unexpected
As a member of Life Care Services®, Harrogate reviews our staff training and all hurricane-related emergency preparedness planning well in advance of hurricane season.
At the first sign of inclement weather, we determine the storm’s potential to flood or otherwise damage our community. We then prepare a specific hurricane response and evacuation plan based on these predictions. We also establish a crisis communication plan to keep residents and their families updated.
Our plan includes:
- Working with area communities or hotels in case an evacuation is necessary.
- Giving residents emergency supply kits that contain clothing, toiletries, a flashlight, identification and other supplies.
- Ordering two weeks’ worth of medication for each resident and updating medical information for staff use.
- Ensuring a week’s supply of food and water is on hand for each resident.
- Supplying enough generators in case of a power outage.
- Making sure appropriate medical equipment is on site, such as oxygen tanks, tubes and stretchers.
- Preparing families by going over disaster planning and supplying them with emergency phone numbers.
We’ll communicate evacuation locations to residents’ family members; families may also choose to evacuate residents themselves.
In 2012, Harrogate made the decision to shelter in place during Hurricane Sandy. Resident Lady Ramsdell decided to move to Harrogate seven days before the storm made landfall. She rode Sandy out with us; her house sustained significant damage, leaving behind more than four feet of seawater in her home. Now, no matter what the weather or the future holds, she’s glad she chose Harrogate:
If another hurricane comes along and I have to go through it, I’ll be very happy to be here where it’s friendly and safe. Lady Ramsdell, Harrogate resident
Thanks to our preparation and planning, Harrogate’s residents and community weathered the storm. Meanwhile, our surrounding community, Lakewood, reported over $18 million in losses.
Have a plan
Deciding if you should shelter in place or evacuate during any type of storm is difficult. The Red Cross offers a pamphlet for older adults outlining strategies and suggestions to make sure you’re prepared.
Or, to leave the worry and storm preparation to us, use our contact form to schedule a personal visit. We’ll tell you about our extreme weather preparations, the long-term security of Life Care, and all the activities you can participate in at Harrogate — rain or shine.