Hurricane Florence recently brought our staff and resident teams together in a plan to protect our community from a variety of possible storm scenarios.
Working from an on-campus Incident Command Center, our emergency management team was in constant contact with the City of Virginia Beach and state officials to refine our Shelter-in-Place plan every six hours. Additional food, water and supplies were brought in, generators readied, and gutters and storm drains cleared to prepare for a possible deluge.
Two Resident Town Hall meetings gave our Independent Living residents important briefings on security, healthcare and foodservice operations, and instructions on how to personally prepare for the storm. Families of residents in our Seaside Health Center and Harbourway Assisted Living facility were also kept constantly informed of our plans, and developing options for each individual resident.
More than 85 staff members stayed on-campus to serve in their roles and take on additional responsibilities, ensuring any possible situations would be covered 24/7. And an Emergency Family Camp was set up, with childcare for employees who were staying on-site or if needed for families of any resident.
Our amazing residents also stepped in, contacting fellow residents with higher-level apartments who had extra room to take in anyone on campus possibly displaced by flooding.
Our disaster preparedness drill staged at Atlantic Shores in May with FEMA, national, and local officials also helped us be prepared and ready. Lessons learned from the exercise included experience creating individual care plan packets with medical records and corresponding medications, prepared to accompany each resident patient if needed. More than 100 were created for Florence, and thankfully not needed.
After being spared major damage, our residents and staff alike are also giving back – raising funds for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina to help those who were impacted.
Thanks to everyone for the important roles they played!