As Hurricane Irma barreled toward the Florida peninsula in September 2017, The Gardens Court in Palm Beach Gardens, prepared to not only take care of its own residents and staff but also a group of evacuees.
With the forecast path changing hour by hour, associates put emergency plans into action. Maintenance associates boarded up the windows at the building, and dietary, nursing and other departments made sure they had enough supplies for three days.
“Never was I more impressed by the handling of such a natural crisis as I was with Hurricane Irma,” said Dennis Erisey, maintenance director. “The teamwork, camaraderie and grit showed during this trying time was extraordinary, from corporate making sure everything was in place to our regional vice president securing plywood and needed items for the facilities and our executive director always staying calm and constant.”
On Sept. 6, The Gardens Court welcomed 10 residents from Life Care Center at Inverrary in Lauderhill, Florida, as well as two certified nursing assistants who travelled with them. Each guest resident stayed in a room.
Several associates from The Gardens Court also stayed at the building during the storm to ensure all hands were on deck and all residents were cared for while the storm hit and made travel hazardous. Everyone sheltered safely as the hurricane made landfall on Sept. 7 and as the cleanup began following the storm.
Thankfully, the damage to The Gardens Court was minimal.
“I would be remiss if I didn’t share our sense of pride with everyone here after the storm,” said Erisey. “We discharged 13 residents back to their homes, sent the 10 residents back to our evacuated sister facility and then took in 16 new residents all within the first 48 hours after the hurricane. Whatever It Takes And Then Some sums it up. Thanks to everyone involved!”