December 1, 2022

Hurricane Ian: A Lesson on Hurricane Preparedness

Every year from June through November, hurricane preparedness is at the forefront of every coastal city resident’s mind. The unknowable potential of destruction due to high winds and storm surges demands that residents have a plan. And although a storm’s power typically diminishes significantly after it makes landfall, even communities over 50 miles from the coast should still take necessary precautions. Our communities in Florida and South Carolina do just that.

Initially making landfall through southwestern Florida on September 28, 2022, Hurricane Ian was a category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 155mph. It was then downgraded to a tropical storm as it passed over Florida but strengthened back to a category 1 hurricane as it hit South Carolina on September 30. It was quickly downgraded into a post-tropical storm after making landfall the second time, and eventually dissipated on October 1 in Virginia.

AHEPA 489 New Port Richey Escapes Harm

On September 27, 2022, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued an emergency evacuation of 12 counties, including Pasco County, where our AHEPA 489 community is located. Dawn Adams, the AHEPA 489 Apartments Property Manager, acted proactively to ensure that residents were safely transported to alternative shelters or evacuated with family – vacating the entire premises.

After the storm had passed, Dawn returned to the facility to assess the damage. This property was lucky, as there were no reports of lost power or damage, only scattered debris mostly from palm trees. She gave the “all clear” for residents to begin to return and spent the morning of September 29 calling residents to inform them of the great news.

AHEPA 284 in Columbia Sustains Damage

Despite being nearly 100 miles from the coast, Columbia, South Carolina, is regularly affected by hurricanes. While storms here are typically not as dangerous as they are in coastal South Carolina, strong winds can still uproot trees, which is exactly what happened in our AHEPA 284-III Apartments community in Columbia. Thankfully, no residents were harmed.

Immediately, our staff was able to safely evacuate sixteen residents to alternative housing arrangements, which included being with their families and securing hotel rooms. Next, we were able to have a professional team promptly remove a fallen tree that weekend. After surveying the facility, a total of eight units had sustained damage with work starting immediately to dry them out and begin repairs. Since that time, all residents have returned to the nearby AHEPA 284 Apartments community.

You’re in Good Hands

For over forty years, AHEPA has been serving America’s older adults with affordable housing. Our experienced staff is well-versed in meteorological preparedness, and we work tirelessly to ensure the safety of our communities. Even as hurricanes become more pervasive, with the average number rising annually in recent years, residents can feel safe knowing that they are in good hands at AHEPA Senior Living.