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“Plans are useless, but planning is essential.”- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Headquartered in beautiful Southwest Florida, Discovery Senior Living has almost 30 years of experience managing and operating award-winning senior living  communities in the state, and we are no strangers to navigating major natural disasters or emergency situations. Our unparalleled experience ensures that you and your loved ones can rely on our team to be prepared to act before, during and after an event.

At [insert community here], we have an entire team of dedicated professionals who are committed to ensuring you or your loved one is safe and well-cared for during any major event.

How We Prepare

There are many types of emergency  events that can occur, each requiring specific measures of planning and preparedness. These are just some of the measures we take to ensure the safety of our residents and team members before, during and after an emergency event.

Emergency Events*

  • Hurricanes
  • Tornados
  • Power Outages
  • Flood and Water Damage
  • Virus Outbreaks
  • Fire | Wildfire | Explosions
  • Snowstorm or Extreme Cold Weather Event

Before the Event

Planning plays a major part of our actions taken before the onset of any major emergency event. These are just a few of the steps we take to stay alert and ahead:

  • Pre-plan and place orders for necessary back-up supplies.
  • House essential supplies that are continually maintained and stocked in dedicated storage facilities
  • Check individual community Emergency Boxes
  • Partner with national distributors for all essential supplies including water, food, generators, community supplies, etc.
  • Establish emergency team members onsite by the department.
  • Ensure all phone numbers are up to date and accurate.
  • Secure the community. Team members install shutters, brace behind doors, check equipment functionality, and secure windows, other building openings \for the potential of flying debris

During the Event

When we find ourselves in the middle of an emergency event, there are a number of key elements and team members that must assume dutiful roles to ensure the safety and security of our residents and community. These are just a few of the steps we take to enact our planning procedures and manage an active emergency event:

  • Contact the resident’s responsible party, and notify them of any plan to evacuate or to shelter in place.
  • Shelter in place unless mandated to evacuate.
  • Prepare, manage and evacuate to our own communities.
  • Follow all required food and water regulations as developed by state regulators in the areas we serve.
  • Designate emergency support team members for the duration of the event in each of our communities and corporate offices.
  • Establish a Resident Support Area and a dedicated Communication Center for each community.

After the Event

After an emergency event, our focus remains on the safety and wellbeing of our residents and team members. This means that we take appropriate action to evaluate the condition of our communities, track and monitor all of our residents’ current needs and placements, and determine the proper next steps as directed by local and regional authorities.

  • Once an “all clear”  message is received by appropriate authorities, we reopen vents, and doors and allow residents to return to their apartment homes. We perform constant checks to account for all residents.

How We Communicate

Communication is essential to ensure timely and possibly life-saving information to those who need to react and or respond in the event of an emergency or disaster. At Discovery Senior Living we make every attempt to put in place redundant communication systems and personnel, so that in the event that one goes offline, another team member or system is there to pick up that line of communication.

The following are triggered and managed by the Support Team to assist communities. This information can be shared with team members, family members and interested parties:

  • Website Updates
  • Community Phone Lines
  • Advance Community Communication to residents, families, and referral sources
  • Calls to families to advise them of the situation
  • Email/Phone Communication to Families/Responsible Parties post event
  • In House TV Channel/Digital Sign (if applicable)

How We Manage Evacuations When Required

It is Discovery Senior Living’s policy to have an evacuation plan in place should any type of emergency event occur that would require the evacuation of residents and team members. Additionally, each community has an evacuation plan in place with a pre-determined safe holding area(s) for residents should it be determined that a full evacuation from the community is necessary. The two types of evacuations are planned and immediate.

Shelter In Place:

Residents and team members remain in the community during the event – examples include tornado, hurricane, snowstorm/cold weather event, or power outage in the region, but not evacuating the building or area. Shelter in place may change depending upon circumstances of the event and/or under the direction of local authorities.

Temporary and Prolonged Evacuation:

Temporary evacuation means residents and team members temporarily leave the building during the event but return once “all clear” has been given by the proper authorities. The Director of Health and Wellness verifies all residents have their required medications with them.

Hurricane Preparedness (Florida Communities Only)

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A team of DSL senior leadership and executives has been created to monitor hurricane activity throughout the annual hurricane season, which occurs June 1 until November 30. All members of the team are charged with frequent monitoring of hurricane activity in addition to local community leadership team members.

All communities, under the direction of the executive director and emergency management coordinator, will have an approved plan of emergency action for a hurricane.

The team at Discovery is truly concerned with doing good work, and we know that the only way to do good work is to keep doing it, to keep reinventing, and to keep developing it. Simply put, our plan is to keep planning. Our team members commit to countless hours of preparation. In the event of any emergency, our dedicated team members immediately go to work implementing procedures that they have been prepared for, trained to follow and execute.

Additional Resources:

FEMA Information:
https://www.fema.gov

National Hurricane Center
https://www.nhc.noaa.gov

Federal Government Hurricane Information
https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes

The Weather Channel
https://weather.com

Disclaimers:

*DSL makes every attempt in our planning and procedures to anticipate, plan and prepare for any and all events that could possibly impact our residents and team members. This list is not meant to be all-inclusive, but merely a representation of major events we have experienced and fall into our disaster preparedness plans.

**Every state our company operates within has a set of regulations that outline the standards that senior living communities must follow. Included in these regulations are specific requirements for handling emergency situations. Some states provide greater detail than others. It is the expectation of our company that each Executive Director and Administrator are familiar with and ensures compliance to all aspects of state regulations in the state. Regarding hurricane preparedness, any specific state requirements are thoroughly reviewed and executed as needed with support and guidance from Regional Operating Leaders and the support center.