Hurricane Safety by Nancy Ludin, CEO, Jewish Pavilion

The state of Florida is vulnerable to hurricanes during the Atlantic hurricane season (June-November.) When there is a warning of a hurricane or other natural disaster, elder-care communities ensure the comfort and safety of their residents.

Senior communities have a Hurricane and Disaster Preparedness Plan which consists of recommendations from regulating authorities such as the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) as well as precautionary guidelines and procedures developed from their experience and expertise in hurricane preparedness.

Elder –care communities are constructed to meet stringent Florida codes and withstand high winds and flooding event so residents can shelter in place. Should a power outage occur, there are generators. Florida assisted living facilities are required to have backup power generators to ensure function and access to essential lighting and air conditioning in the event of a power outage.

Senior facilities try to provide e-mail communication with family members prior to and during weather emergencies. Hurricane-related communications and news are posted on websites and social media.

For most residents, a senior living community is a safer place than one’s own home during a storm. My mother, Gloria Newberger, lives at Oakmonte Village. I lived with her during a hurricane. The staff slept overnight in advance of the storm and catered to us all night and day with lots of food and activities. They have such wonderful insulation that I barely heard the storm and easily slept through the night. My mother and I could not have felt more secure.

While most seniors face major adjustments when transitioning to an elder-care community, Jewish seniors face additional challenges. Not only do they lose their homes, and many of their friends, but they also lose ties to their cultural heritage. This is where the Jewish Pavilion, a 501c3 non-profit, steps in. The Pavilion serves as a resource that provides room visits, festive holiday celebrations, and more to 450 Jewish residents in fifty facilities for seniors. The Jewish Pavilion promotes inclusion, and thousands of seniors of all faiths are welcomed into our programs.

The Orlando Senior Help Desk (407-678-9363) helps thousands of callers navigate their way through the daunting senior maze,