Hurricane Ian started as a tropical wave in the Atlantic Ocean that built into a destructive storm. As the storm evolved, it delivered wind and rain to Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Columbia and Cuba before intensifying into the Category 4 hurricane that touched down in Florida on September 28, 2022.
The coastal cities that were hit the hardest saw fatalities, loss of power, and billions of dollars in damage. But with emergency preparedness planning, a robust stockpile of emergency supplies and dedicated employees, Holiday residents safely weathered the storm.
This was the first major weather event that Holiday faced as part of the Atria Senior Living family, and each evacuated community met the challenge, smoothing over the chaos of the moment and keeping everyone safe.
A focus on safety
Resident safety is a top priority at Holiday. That’s why days before the hurricane ever hit Florida’s West Coast, our risk management team was watching the storm and preparing for a potential evacuation.
Brian Wheatley, Vice President of Risk Management for the Holiday by Atria brand, sometimes refers to his team’s vigilant tracking of the nation’s weather as “the peril report.” Whether they’re responding to a hurricane in Florida, fires in California, or winter storms from Maine to Texas, this team knows that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
To prevent risk to residents, on Tuesday, September 27, five Tampa-area communities were evacuated. Many residents chose to stay with friends and family, while buses carried 225 others, along with pets and staff, to three Holiday communities farther east.
In addition to carefully relocating residents, every employee was also accounted for. Thanks to Atria CaresSM, an emergency financial assistance fund, employees whose homes and families were impacted by the hurricane have received thousands of dollars in aid.
There are 140 Holiday residences in hurricane zones, and the employees at these communities receive annual hurricane preparedness training to ensure they’re ready for the real thing. In addition to the heroes on the ground who keep things running smoothly, Holiday’s corporate team is at the ready, coordinating the movement of buses, support personnel and backup emergency preparedness supplies.
Employees and residents alike were concerned for their families, friends and homes, but they also made the most of this break from the norm. Residents shared meals, joined in games and enjoyed each other’s company. Some even danced. One evacuated resident recognized a familiar face at her temporary home right away – it was her former neighbor. With the storm looming in the background, the two settled in to catch up.
At Holiday, even hurricanes bring us together
We say it all the time because it’s true: At Holiday, your friends are waiting. When professional employees tend to life’s daily tasks – and are trained to take on its major events – residents can focus on what really matters. Connecting.
Don’t weather the next storm alone. Schedule a tour at a Holiday community near you and learn how much better life can be – together.