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Falling almost exactly on the 7-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Isaac has touched down in the New Orleans area this morning, causing heavy rain, strong winds and flooding.
Mississippi, Alabama and Florida have all been affected. Our thoughts and prayers have been with the members of LeadingAge Gulf States during this difficult time, and we've appreciated being in close correspondence. We thought that some of our other members might appreciate an update as well.
As of this morning, Karen Contrenchis, president of LeadingAge Gulf States, reports that Lafon is the only LeadingAge Gulf States member that has been evacuated so far.
As of Tuesday night, a total of 3 nursing homes were evacuated. All of the LeadingAge Gulf States nursing home and assisted living residences were contacted, and their decision to remain in place (with the exception of Lafon) has been communicated to state officials.
Conchentris says she is frequently in touch with state officials, and has constant access to breaking news thanks to a 700 megahertz radio.
Each region of Mississippi has been designated a regional coordinator who is responsible for monitoring nursing homes in their region during the storm. "Hopefully we will not lose connection, as the cell towers are supposed to be better than before Katrina," Conchentris says. In addition, better flood protection is expected due to improved levies and flood gates.
"I would like to thank you and all those in LeadingAge for your continual support," says Conchentris. "At this time we have no formal requests, but please keep us in your prayers."
One LeadingAge Gulf States member feeling the impact of the storm is Lambeth House, a CCRC in the heart of New Orleans. On Tuesday evening, Lambeth House CEO/President Scott Crabtree sent an email to staff here at the DC office with updates on hurricane preparations accompanied by photos of rooftop views of the storm that he had snapped.
As of 10 a.m. this morning, Lambeth House has been on "lockdown," and a team of hard-working employees arrived much earlier to minimize any potential threats to the safety of the residents. Says Crabtree, "[The staff] are dedicated to the mission, and talk about staying focused!"
At St. Anna's Residence, an affiliate of Lambeth House, police officers joined staff in preparing for "lockdown" on Tuesday evening. Residents were treated to a decadent lunch of filet mignon that day, since dinner was expected to consist of sandwiches, ice cream, wine and tea under "lockdown" conditions.
Overall, Crabtree feels confident that his staff members and residents are ready for the storm, and notes with a bit of good-natured humor that he will be in touch "as soon as this little inconvenience gets out of our way."
If you or someone you know needs information about hurricane preparation, response or recovery, please check out our LeadingAge Disaster Resources.