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Hurricane Irene: Atlantic Shores United

Written By Steve Richey, Security Staff Member

Not too long ago, we had among us here a man by the name of Sam Ames. As a leader, his efforts had one central theme: we are family at Atlantic Shores. As Hurricane Irene approached and unleashed all that she had for us, she found that family steadfast and immovable. She found a family, a team of people moving as one, prepared to meet every challenge presented.

Many of the staff, the leadership team included, stayed here over the weekend, making the necessary preparations and being quick to deal with every situation. Fortunately, the strength of the storm proved to be lacking the punch anticipated:  another bullet dodged! However, had she brought her full fury, the team of employees and residents were prepared for her very worst.

Rolling up their sleeves, our leadership here at Atlantic Shores, including department heads, fearlessly led the effort, prepared to do whatever it would take to protect life and property. This included our GM/CFO, Eden Jones and Marie Oberwetter, the Managing Director of Resident and Health Services.

Plant Services and the Security Department worked together around the clock to coordinate and deal with prevention and problems arising during and after the storm. The department heads and supervisors were here, making themselves available, quick to deal with every challenge arising. Speaking of around the clock, the front desk remained open and manned overnight throughout the storm to answer any and all concerns that arose. The nursing staff camped out here as well, availing themselves to all residents in the Harbourway, Seaside and Memory Unit facilities. Had evacuation been necessary, they were completely prepared to quickly and safely move them to a more secure site. Resident care in the medical facilities and site-wide is always the highest priority.

Food and Beverage staff and supervisors were also here, preparing food and ensuring a sense of normality with their usual fine culinary fare. For Richie and his team, it would be business as usual, no matter what. For the Grounds and Housekeeping staffs, they were here before and during, but for them, of course, the task of cleaning up began after the storm. During the employees’ stay here, the residents were exceptionally helpful and very gracious hosts, providing air mattresses for receptionists sleeping in an empty apartment and offering their extra bedrooms or homes to staff staying over here during the hurricane.

All in all, it was an eventful weekend that provided a test for us. A test that I, for one, am proud to say we passed with flying colors. There are times when people truly shine, and this would definitely be one of them. Here at Atlantic Shores, we have a t-shirt that highlights u-n-i-t-y within the word opportunity. This concept has defined us here, though even more brilliantly during this crisis. It was the concept of unity that Sam Ames so strongly promoted. Today his dream lives on.

Irene has gone, thankfully leaving behind little damage to the property here. Good coming from bad, she did leave behind enough rain to nearly douse the fire that had been burning for weeks in the Dismal Swamp to our west. So as things return to normal here in the area and at Atlantic Shores, there will be the sweet rest that comes from a real sense of accomplishment as yet another challenge has been met and dealt with professionally and properly.