As the recovery is underway from Hurricane Harvey in Texas, our compatriots in Florida are just starting to take a glimpse outside to survey the damage from Hurricane Irma. There wasn’t even a letter in between the naming of these two devastating storms!
We have a number of SAGE members in Florida and in southeastern Texas. We have attempted to follow up with many of them to check in. I am encouraged by the human spirit as we hear stories of heroism, self-sacrifice and perseverance in the recovery efforts. Lori Alford of Avanti Senior Living shared of the unselfish efforts that their caregiving team put forth in protecting their residents, knowing that their own personal homes were at risk. Charlie Wilson at Buckner in Dallas has rolled up his sleeves in supporting their care communities in Houston and Beaumont. In these challenging times, titles get thrown out the window…and for good reason. In addition to the selfless acts of support, the collaboration between care communities has been inspiring.
The minimal loss of life through both of these significant storm events is a testament to the emergency preparedness that our senior-living world embraces. I know from my “provider” days that all the fire drills, the emergency planning and the deficiencies that seem to result from not documenting these preparatory activities can be frustrating. If our team members aren’t careful, we can all go through the motions in preparing for emergencies. For those who have endured Harvey and Irma, that preparation has paid off. Kudos to all those who have protected our elders who rely on all of us for safety and security.
As many of us in the design profession assist our clients with damage assessments, let’s make sure and thank those who “took the direct hit” from the storms. Their unselfish efforts to protect our elders should be celebrated as an inspiration to all of us!