Hickory, NC — Affinity Living Group (ALG) is leading the assisted living industry in emergency preparedness, rolling out a new, comprehensive disaster plan as the 2019 hurricane season ramps up with Hurricane Dorian churning in the Atlantic. The plan covers emergency events including natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes, as well as active shooter and nuclear or chemical-involved scenarios.
“Many assisted living operators or companies only prepare the minimum required emergency preparedness plan for licensing,” said Denis Rainey, vice president of crisis and emergency management for ALG. “But we want to go above and beyond to ensure we are fully prepared, have a well thought out plan, and our teams are adequately trained to handle any situation they may encounter.”
ALG has been actively working on improving its preparedness plans since Hurricane Florence struck the North Carolina coast last September, impacting a large number of its communities. While preparedness efforts paid off in that storm, the company is confident in its improved and expanded plans and training efforts to ensure an even more efficient and safe environment should a similar storm strike this season.
ALG’s Operations Center, housed at the company’s North Carolina headquarters and modeled after the streamlined Emergency Operations Center the state is known for, has already begun implementing its plans for ALG’s Florida-based communities in the potential path of Tropical Storm Dorian.
The comprehensive plan includes individualized checklists for each department of a facility, from administration to maintenance, for each type of emergency situation. Teams have been trained on the processes for each scenario, and monthly drills are conducted. ALG has also developed relationships with Emergency Management teams in each state it operates in, opening a direct line of contact to key officials in times of disaster. During Florence, ALG was the only assisted living company represented at the North Carolina EOC, offering valuable input on what is needed to assist a vulnerable population as well as providing to-the-minute updates to the company’s own operations center.
“You hope you never have to use these plans that you put together,” Rainey said. “But we have a unique population that we have to care for. Our job is to assist our residents, and that assistance comes especially in a disaster situation like a hurricane.”
About Affinity Living Group
With more than 140 communities in 6 states, Affinity Living Group, based in Hickory, NC, is the largest senior housing provider in the southeastern United States. Affinity’s mission is to provide a full continuum of housing and care services for older adults, delivered by a team of passionate and respectful professionals, at locations throughout the United States. We strive daily to create the best life for all we serve.
PHOTO: Denis Rainey, vice president of crisis and emergency management for ALG, has worked to ensure the company is prepared for emergency situations of all kinds. He is pictured here with a map of Tropical Storm Dorian’s projected path.
Get updates on the latest news impacting senior living through our Argentum Daily newsletter.