Hurricane Matthew Heroes from Carillon Assisted Living
They say that heroes are made during adversity. This was true of many Carillon Assisted Living staff the weekend Hurricane Matthew hit North Carolina. Carillon residents and family members could count on Carillon’s Personal Care Assistants, Facility Maintenance Managers, Activity Directors, Resident Care Directors, Executive Directors and Regional Operations Directors.
Weather forecasts had predicted that Hurricane Matthew would turn out to sea, but the torrential rain and high winds caused much greater danger and damage in North Carolina than anticipated. On October 7 and 8th Hurricane Matthew reached the coast of North Carolina, bring with it over seventy mile hour winds, historic rain and flooding. The torrential rains Matthew dumped over 15 inches of rain in some areas. With North Carolina soil already saturated throughout the state from rain in previous weeks, dangerous and life-threatening flooding across eastern and central North Carolina began almost immediately.
But well before Hurricane Matthew reached North Carolina’s coast, Carillon Assisted Living was in full hurricane preparation mode. Before, during and after the hurricane, a number of Carillon staff acted as true heroes for Carillon’s residents and family members. “Wind Beneath My Wings” is Carillon’s way of recognizing these team member’s acts during the storm.
As a coastal community, Carillon Assisted Living of Southport was the first to be hit by Matthew’s winds and rain. The Executive Director, June King, stayed overnight as sea levels rose to ensure emergency generators were in place if power was lost, take steps to protect against Carillon being flooded, ensure road access to EMS and the evaluation if need, and lead the staff in caring for residents in spite of Matthew. Carillon Assisted Living of Southport pulled through the storm without losing power, without flooding, and without any need for EMS or evaluations.
At Carillon Assisted Living at Knightdale, Joan Debnam, Resident Care Director, and Bronnette “Bebe” Williams, Resident Care Coordinator, worked late, stayed at the community overnight and worked throughout the next day to be with residents, provide activities and assure them they were cared for around the clock. Carillon of Knightdale’s Maintenance Director, Ivan, left his home and braved the wind and rain to come to Carillon. His normally 30 minute commute became a three hour drive because of dangerous road closures. He brought his wife with him and she helped Carillon’s staff serve the needs of residents. Carillon of Knightdale’s Executive Director, Shawn Cothran, was up for two days ensuring the safety of residents and ensuring the facility continued to provide all of Carillon’s services to residents.
In Fayetteville, Carillon’s Resident Care Director, Roberta, kept up the spirits of the staff throughout the long night by working overnight with the support of her husband and ordered pizza for the team, building a positive mood in spite of the hurricane. Carillon of Fayetteville’s Executive Director, Phoebe Robertson, stayed overnight to make sure resident’s needs were supported and comforted. Sunday when the electricity went out and flooding broke Cumberland county dams contaminating the City of Fayetteville’s water, Phoebe ensured an emergency generator was running and that residents had potable water throughout the nights during and following Matthew.
Jeff Benfield, John Binkley, Michael Gray, and Rodney Clark, Carillon’s Regional Maintenance Directors who oversee the central and eastern Carillon locations’ facilities and maintenance, coordinated to ensure each facility likely to be impacted was prepared, closely monitored, and action was taken in the event of a power loss with back-up generators, monitoring local flooding levels that would impact the facility, or any other damage to Carillon’s facilities resulting from Matthew’s torrential rains and hurricane force winds.
Jennifer Moore, Regional Director of Operations for the Carillon facilities located in the areas most affected by Matthews, was working and communicating non-stop with staff at each facility, from leadership and activities to maintenance and dining services, to ensure residents were safe and their needs where met. She braved roads throughout coastal and central Carolina to visit each facility and often had to pull off the road, stop or find alternate roads in order to reach each facility, the staff and residents.
Bill Furnas, Carillon’s Regional Director of Dining Services, was working throughout the hurricane, ensuring each facility had shipments of water and non-perishable food delivered prior to Matthews’ impact. He communicated directly with each facility’s Dining Services Director on preparing for the possibility of serving residents meals in the event of a power outage and flooding.
These “Wind Beneath My Wings” stories of Carillon team members represent the personal commitment, dedication and willingness to put Carillon’s residents first, in spite of and during one of North Carolina’s worst Hurricanes in years. Carillon residents have a warm, safe, dry, and caring environment at Carillon Assisted Living, even during the most extreme events. That is Carillon’s mission; to provide uncompromising care and quality for seniors, all the time.
on October 22, 2016