September is often a season of keeping an eye on tropical waves that may develop in the Caribbean. Will the wave develop in to a tropical storm and move closer to the Gulf of Mexico? This potential threat has also prompted me, as Executive Director of Treemont Independent Living in Houston, to reach out to remind everyone of what we can do and what you can expect should a hurricane head towards the Galveston/Houston area. Like we have all heard before, we run from the water and hide from the wind. We, "shelter in place" but with the following caveat.
Like most all apartment complexes, Treemont Retirement Community (Independent Living apartments) does not have back up generators to keep the apartment lights on or AC running in the event a storm knocks out our power in the neighborhood. Hurricane Ike hit Houston in 2008 and some neighborhoods went 7-14 days w/o power. It gets very hot, very quickly, in a building like ours without AC. My concern is the heat factor for our senior citizens and needed use of medical equipment that operates only on electricity.
We do have a small generator that we use to power the phone system at the front desk, keep minimal lighting on in the lobby and operate some of our refrigerators for stored food. Without sufficient power we cannot prepare large meals. We have canned goods, bottled water and sandwiches. Some staff members will be present to distribute these items.
If you are with a Home Health company for medical attention it is important to know that their staff members are not required to be on location in the event of a storm. Senior Allegiance Home Health, since they are community based, will be here if they can make it safely to the property.
Most all of Treemont staff has been through a hurricane or two and know how important it is to tend to our residents and help as much as possible to keep them safe and comfortable.
If you or your family members are concerned about being without power and in the heat, or lacking the scheduled medical treatment they require, I would highly recommend that you evacuate the Treemont campus. Pets will also need to be taken away from the apartments. Staff cannot manage any pets left behind.
My hope is that we never need to face a storm situation but we need to be prepared.