On August 30, Advent Christian Village endured a direct hit by Hurricane Idalia. It was the first time in 127 years that this area was in the path of a major hurricane. While the campus was severely battered, there were no lives lost and no injuries. The team at ACV worked tirelessly to implement hurricane safety measures and assess damage as quickly as possible.
Emily Peacock is part of the team of service coordinators working in social services for independent living residents at ACV. As such, she was one of the valued members of the emergency management team that went into action days prior to the storm’s landfall, working with each resident to ensure that they were prepared. In the aftermath of the storm, her role was just as crucial, as damage across the region kept power from being restored for several days.
“Before roads were even cleared, members of the social services team went door-to-door to check on members,” Emily said. “We maintained a detailed log of the location of each member during and after the storm and communicated with family members, relaying information to their loved ones. We ensured medication was refrigerated and members had access to power sources for oxygen concentrators, scooters and other medical equipment. Dining Services served three meals a day on generator power throughout the emergency, and we delivered meals from the dining room to residents who needed them. As the power failure continued, we distributed information door-to-door across campus.”
“I was overwhelmed at the response of members who opened their homes to others who were displaced due to home damage,” she said. “Members with generators allowed neighbors to come over and charge cell phones. Friends shared food. Members brought battery-operated fans to staff. A caring community member was able to get an oxygen tank refill for a resident before pharmacies reopened.”
Despite the difficult situation, ACV’s staff and residents came together and demonstrated that a true sense of community exists for all who live and work here.
“Overall, the spirit of patience and gratitude of each member continued to amaze me,” Emily said. “In the midst of considerable discomfort and personal inconvenience, each one was appreciative of the information, delivery, or social opportunity at each exchange. Every day, residents and staff asked me how I personally was impacted by the storm. In my experience, that is the hallmark of this community. Even in crises or suffering, Christ’s compassionate care is seen and felt in all that is said and done on this campus.
“Hurricane Idalia was undoubtedly a high stress event. In times like these when communication is continuously evolving, our true colors tend to be revealed. I’ve never been more humbled and thankful to serve alongside the leadership and my coworkers here at ACV. The care, concern, and zeal with which ACV’s Emergency Management Team advocated for the needs of residents throughout the crisis were unmatched. However, I’d be content if we don’t have to go through it again for another 127 years!”
At ACV, an emergency plan for hurricane safety is in place and a team of staff members divides the tasks required before, during and after the emergency.
As an ACV member, you also have the reassurance that you are not facing any crisis alone – and you have a dedicated team assisting you.
At the end of the day, we are incredibly grateful for our staff who worked tirelessly to provide relief to all who were affected by Hurricane Idalia. We are also thankful for our residents, whose patience and understanding during this difficult time did not go unnoticed.
The community is still dealing with cleanup of trees and debris, and restoration of damaged structures is set to begin after the New Year. Recovery will be a long process. We are deeply grateful for all who have assisted ACV through financial gifts and donations of time and energy. We truly are better together.