Safety comes first

Photo of a tornado.

We are in the middle of summer storm season in Kansas and Missouri, and the tornado outbreak in late April is a very real reminder that we need to be prepared for bad weather. Missouri and northeast Kansas communities have already experienced rain and hail this spring.

At Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America, we take resident safety seriously, and one way we work to ensure our residents are safe is by developing storm preparedness and storm response plans and practicing for emergency situations.

Every community has its own Disaster Response and Recovery Plan based on a model called Prepare. The Prepare model is sanctioned by the Federal Emergency Management  Agency. Through the Prepare model, the each community’s leadership team conducts an assessment to determine vulnerabilities. The group then develops the plan to address these vulnerabilities.

Each community’s response is individualized to the campus and its location. In most cases, the first response is to shelter in-place because that provides the least disruption for residents. Some instances, however, require evacuation.

Several years ago, Farmington had an ice storm. Thanks to a partnership with the local National Guard, residents were able to shelter in place in areas heated by a generator.

In Newton, the disaster response plan covers evacuation in case of a chemical spill on Interstate 135, which is just a couple of blocks east of the campus.

Every community has regular drills just as fire drills are conducted, so employees and residents know what to do in an emergency.  The plan is reviewed at least annually and updated as needed to address any new concerns.

Independent living residents are provided with a home assessment to help them create their own plans for what to do in case of an emergency.

Partnerships with other agencies in the community are key. PMMA communities work with county and city emergency management, the National Guard, churches, other health care providers and organizations that provide disaster response services in the greater community, including the Red Cross.

Our partnerships are not only about receiving help in time of need, but also providing help. Many of our campuses have agreements with other health care providers in the greater community to shelter residents or patients following a disaster.

It’s all part of living our mission of providing quality senior services guided by Christian values. You can rest assured that your loved one will be cared for during stormy weather at a PMMA community.

If you have questions about the specific plan for your PMMA community, contact the executive director.