By Greg Pascucci
According to data from the National Hurricane Center, the peak hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin is from mid-August to late October. With 2017’s Hurricane Irma still fresh in the minds of Collier Country residents, it’s essential for everyone, especially older adults, to put a hurricane preparedness plan in place.
In addition to a wealth of information available from local, state and federal agencies, the American Red Cross offers useful resources and guides for older adults. Among the three areas highlighted in their “Disaster Preparedness for Seniors by Seniors” are: Get a Kit, Make a Plan and Be Informed.
Get a Kit
Experts suggest stockpiling supplies and medication to last 3-14 days. In addition to water, flashlights with batteries and canned goods, it’s important to keep prescription medications on hand. During hurricanes Irma and Wilma, there were overwhelming stories of seniors who were unable to leave damaged homes, refill their prescriptions and maintain healthy diets.
Even prior to the start of hurricane season, The Carlisle Naples takes proactive steps to ensure residents’ safety and wellbeing and minimize disruption to residents’ lives in case of a storm. For example, the active retirement community recently hosted the Collier County Emergency Management to review plans and resources to prepare for potential hurricane emergencies.
Also, The Carlisle’s partnership with MyCare Clinic means residents have onsite access to highly trained and qualified personnel to ensure their medication prescriptions are available.
Make a Plan
Having a plan in place can significantly reduce anxiety and stress, especially as forecasters work to predict the path of the storm. Older adults are encouraged to have flexible plans, based on the intensity of a hurricane. While it may be okay to shelter in place for a Category 1 storm, what is your evacuation plan should it become a Category 4?
The American Red Cross suggests having easy access to emergency numbers, keeping family members with a disability in mind when planning, and being knowledgeable about your home insurance coverage.
At The Carlisle, employees serve as the residents’ safety lifeline with staff undergoing extensive training, including a thorough review of the disaster plan. Under the guidance of Executive Director Bill Diamond, residents are assured they never have to weather the storm alone. During Hurricane Irma, residents hunkered down to ride out the storm and in the midst of the hurricane, found their bonds with neighbors grew even stronger.
“Staff members were invited to bring their immediate families, including young children and shelter in place at the community,” said Diamond. “While staff worked tirelessly to maintain services and limit the impact of the hurricane, Carlisle residents became surrogate grandparents for the children, reading stories, playing games and comforting the children. One resident exclaimed that although she hadn’t had to change a diaper in over 50 years, she was pleased to discover she hadn’t lost her magic touch! These were the wonderful stories that emerged from the storms, which played a significant role in reducing residents’ anxiety and stress.”
Seniors are encouraged to be informed before, during and after a hurricane. Be aware of pet-friendly shelters should you need to evacuate, road closures and unscrupulous people taking advantage of the natural disaster.
Should a hurricane warning be issued for the area, The Carlisle’s management team carefully monitors the storm’s progress, utilizing the latest weather data resources. The community understands the importance of communication and maintains contact with residents as well as residents’ families by providing periodic updates.
During the most recent storm, the community maintained a sense of normalcy with one resident even celebrating her birthday! She was presented with a coffee cake topped with a candle and surrounded by neighbors and staff.
Following a storm, staff works tirelessly to restore equilibrium to the community. Maintenance crews quickly survey the damage and make necessary repairs. The Carlisle coordinates all clean-up and repairs; therefore, residents can avoid the numerous scam-artists who prey on hurricane victims.
“We learned so much from Hurricane Irma and how quickly a storm can threaten our area,” said Diamond. “A senior living community such as The Carlisle can be a wonderful alternative to facing a storm alone. Here, there’s an entire team dedicated to your safety and wellbeing.”
Located at 6945 Carlisle Court in Naples, The Carlisle offers spacious one-and two-bedroom residences, weekly housekeeping and flat linen services, basic cable TV, all utilities except telephone, and a complimentary full breakfast plus choice of lunch or dinner in the community’s gourmet-style restaurant. For more information about the community, please call 239-221-0017 or visit www.TheCarlisleNaples.com.
Luxury Rental Retirement Living
6945 Carlisle Court, Naples, FL 34109
239-221-0017 . www.srgseniorliving.com