How Aviva- A Campus for Senior Life sheltered residents and staff during the storm and what is next for the campus
Sarasota, FL- September 12th, 2017- As Hurricane Irma finally fades off into memory the staff and residents of Aviva- A Campus for Senior Life begin to return to a sense of regularity. This weekend our community faced the true power of Mother Nature when Irma battered into Florida’s western coast on Sunday through early Monday.
On an average day, Aviva is home to roughly 290 full-time residents in all levels of care including Independent & Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation. However, with mass evacuations triggered throughout the state of Florida, power outages reported in 2/3rds of Sarasota, and up to 8ft of flooding in some areas, our campus became a safe haven for many.
In total, Aviva hosted over 650 residents, staff, families, and community members including 27 residents from nearby Plymouth Harbor. Additionally, our campus opened its doors to 100 pets including dogs, cats, birds, and exotic animals. The last of the sheltered individuals will be staying with us for the next week or so as power returns to surrounding communities.
As of Saturday the 9th, full teams of staff from all departments including dining, activities, nursing, and executive began moving into offices and common rooms. Present on campus throughout the storm was Aviva’s Chief Executive Officer, Jay Solomon who led the campus’s disaster preparation and response during the 48-hour period.
Throughout the storm, our teams worked around the clock to sustain a sense of normalcy and provide a true Aviva experience to our guests including young children and families. A main priority was providing meals to all of our residents and guests and our dining services team prepared, cooked, and served three hot meals each day in both of our main dining rooms.
Our response to Hurricane Irma was a well-calculated and expertly executed plan developed in conjunction with Sarasota and Manatee County emergency officials. This plan included a fully mapped out understanding and worst-case scenario plan of our buildings. In any storm of this magnitude, a major concern is the structural integrity of our campus. We are happy to report that the campus did not sustain any major damage during the storm. Additionally we were fortunate that our campus’s hurricane proof windows held well under the battering of the wind.
We are incredibly lucky to have a staff so dedicated to our residents. Each staff member who stayed with us on campus this weekend did so of his or her volition, out of a passion for our residents and their wellbeing. It cannot be said enough, how thankful we are to our staff.
Hurricane Irma has been incredibly detrimental to our community in Sarasota and our neighbors in Naples and Venice. Even now, many of our staff continue to seek refuge on campus after losing homes to Irma. Our team is dedicated to continuing our efforts to help our community and rebuild stronger together. Over the coming weeks we will work closely with our community partners including the Office of Emergency Management to help in whatever way we can. We are incredibly proud to be members of the Sarasota community and will do our part to rebuild and repair what was lost.
About Aviva- A Campus for Senior Life
Founded on traditional Jewish values such as a reverence for life and a belief in its dignity, Aviva is Sarasota’s only rental senior community offering all levels of care: Kobernick Independent Living, Anchin Assisted Living and Memory Care, and Benderson Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation.
Nestled in The Meadows in the heat of Sarasota, the beautiful, park-like campus was designed for of residents of all faiths to be safely at home while enjoying family and friends, fun activities, luxury amenities, innovative programs, and onsite healthcare services. Aviva is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, established in 1993 by the Sarasota-Manatee Jewish Housing Council, Inc. For more information, visit AvivaSeniorLife.org.
For additional content, questions, or opportunity for B-roll please reach out to Aviva’s Communications Specialist, Matthew Solomon.