Natural disasters have dominated the news. Across the country, people worry about whether they are prepared for the next destructive act by Mother Nature.
At The Terraces at Bonita Springs, associates take a variety of precautions to ensure that vital services continue in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency, most recently in our response to Hurricane Irma.
How Does The Terraces at Bonita Springs Prepare?
In the event of severe weather or an emergency, The Terraces at Bonita Springs follows the Certified Emergency Management Plan (CEMP).
CEMP is aligned with all federal and state level emergency protocol, including the protection of all services related to life safety. A series of generators at the community protect emergency safety features like alarms, residents’ emergency pendants, critical circuitry and electricity in the main common areas. This means the electrical system would remain active to continue providing the necessary level of care in skilled nursing and memory care residences.
Associates attend a training session focused on hurricane preparedness and participate in mobilization exercises on an annual basis. The hurricane preparedness session is an annual review of CEMP, allowing for year-over-year improvements to the safety protocol. The mobilization exercise simulates what would happen in the event of an evacuation or protecting-in-place.
Putting Preparation to Work
On Sept. 5, 2017, The Terraces at Bonita Springs, on advisement of the local government and in accordance with CEMP, made the decision to protect-in-place in anticipation of the landfall of category 4 Hurricane Irma.
Dedicated to CEMP and confident in the simulated exercises executed months prior, associates and leadership transitioned to emergency mode.
Communication became the key variable to keep team members focused and residents calm while keeping them connected to their family and friends. Status updates were published daily to Facebook and the website homepage, ensuring family and friends, near and far, were aware of the status of their loved ones.
An emergency hotline helped field calls and further communicated the plan and status of protecting-in-place. Residents were consistently informed of the situation through emails, twice daily memos, town hall meetings and daily updated information boards throughout the community.
Just hours after the landfall of Hurricane Irma on Sept. 10, “Everyone at the Terraces is currently fine,” was posted on Facebook.
Anthony Alongi, associate executive director at The Terraces at Bonita Springs, said, “The success was in large part a result of dedicated associates willing to work as a team to maintain the health and safety of each of our residents. While we sustained loss of power for a period of time, our residents stayed positive and our emergency procedures provided the care they needed.”
Following the aftermath of Hurricane Irma’s destruction, residents at The Terraces at Bonita Springs set out to commemorate their resilience. Residents came together and designed a t-shirt to remember. The t-shirt was inspired by Mike Lyon who said, “With all of her fury Hurricane Irma attacked us, the residents of The Terraces. We were clearly the winners. Our building was completely safe and secure. And our wonderful staff did everything to ensure our safety and well-being. So here we are to celebrate our wonderful life at The Terraces at Bonita Springs and know that we conquered Irma.”
Disaster can strike at any time. At The Terraces at Bonita Springs, we are dedicated to providing an emergency plan that protects all of our residents.