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2013 Flood Evacuation - Managing risk inherent in housing an aging population . “We knew it [the flood] was happening, but I couldn’t have gotten out by myself. Thank goodness Silvera took care of us.” – Aspen Community Resident. Our Vision .

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2013 flood evacuation managing risk inherent in housing an aging population

2013 Flood Evacuation - Managing risk inherent in housing an aging population

“We knew it [the flood] was happening, but I couldn’t have gotten out by myself. Thank goodness Silvera took care of us.”

– Aspen Community Resident

Our vision

Our Vision aging population

Silvera will be the leading advocate and caring provider of affordable homes and services for seniors to live in place with dignity.

What we do

What we do aging population

Serving - 1,500 Calgary Seniors

16 Independent living communities

9 Supportive living communities

(Provide meals, activity, support services, most have homecare)

Who are our seniors

Who are our seniors aging population

Average age 85

Range from 65 – 105 years old

Mobility challenges, many with walkers/some motorized scooters, canes

Many on oxygen, most on multiple medications, numerous with incontinence issues

Memory loss, some early dementia

Many with limited family supports

All lower income

What we do1

What we do aging population

Supportive Living Communities Independent Living Communities

Aspen - Bow Valley Lane North East Alder Court - 20 Avenue North West

Beaverdam - 66 Ave South East Austin Nixon - Elbow Drive South West

Bow Valley - Bow Valley Drive North East Beaverdam Place #1, 2 - Crestwood Road SE

Confederation Park - 21 Avenue North West Bow Valley Townhouses- Bow Valley Drive NE

Shawnessy - Shannon Place SW Boxwood Place - 28 Avenue SW

Shouldice - 19 Ave NW Chestnut Grove - 4 Street NE

Spruce - Bow Valley Drive NE Dream Haven - 8 Ave NW

Valleyview - 19 Ave SE Elmwood Court - 63 Street NW

Westview - 45 Street SW Friendship Manor - 33 Street SW

Gilchrist Manor - 56 Street NE

McCann Court - 21 Ave NE

Mountview Apts - 16 Avenue NE

Queens Court - 47 Street SW

Shouldice Manor #1, #2 - 46 Street NW

Willow Park on the Bow - 11 Street NE

Flood hits silvera s response timeline

Flood hits – Silvera’s response timeline. aging population

Late afternoon in June…. Flooding in Canmore

Silvera: all management meeting called to discuss “what if” , risks, notice to residents, deploy staff , watch and respond…

10 pm Evacuation called by the city – 5 Silvera buildings in Bridgeland- manage the evacuation

Door knocking to all residents (tracking with note pads marking doors)

Residents prepare for 3 days (meds, clothes, hygiene care needs)

Notice to families/friends/emergency contact to pickup wherever possible and plan to keep resident for minimum 3 days

10 pm – 3:30 am Calls to police to determine arrival of city buses

Alternate plan to evacuate - one building upper floor, backup generators for elevators, Vital Air, machines and oxygen tanks

Calls to Apex pharmacy, home care to be on site

Move seniors off tanks (save oxygen) to their machines wait for buses

9 pm Set up call centre in main office (not in community)

Coordinate emails and calls to centre to ensure calls are dispatched (not stuck in voice mail)

Immediately focus on trying to block-book hotels so we can get out of evacuation centre to stabilize and keep homecare supports in play

Calling for alternate buses (in case city can’t help)

Calls to staff to prepare for alternate site support – redeploy to hotels

Building status (what are the unique limits of the sites – no elevator back ups, basements, etc.)

Team to monitor building and prepare with back up generators and backup sump pumps

Flood hits our response

Flood hits – our response. aging population

3:45 am: Buses arrive – load seniors and evacuation staff

4 am - Friday morning - Up to COP evacuation Centre

Loading buses ( kneeling buses - most seniors with walkers)

Staff at other communities preparing basic emergency food for residents (support for COP)

Staff working on securing non-city buses to get seniors from COP to block-booked hotels

List of residents planned for hotels – to notify family if continuing to pickup, homecare deployment

Friday 11 am -All residents transported from evacuation Centre to block hotels

Residents coordinated to hotel

Communication hotel and residents to Apex Pharmacy and CBI Homecare and Vital Air

Call centre completing staffing schedule – hotel and also re-staffing for plan for return to Communities/Lodges

Flood hits our response1

Flood hits – our response. aging population

Sunday City lifts evacuation

Residents on their own and those with friends/family trying to come home : lock down buildings

Silvera over – rides evacuation being lifted

Communication to websites /Notices on all buildings – SILVERA WILL CALL the lift for its own buildings

Re- entry plan:

Confirm safety of all building

Ready Communities and re-develop staff models for Lodge/Communities to reopen

Re-coordinate with homecare for hotel transition and plan for back to Silvera Communities

Communication to families (website) when we would receive residents back

Coordination of hotel pickup (staged with our own)

Staff support to help leave hotel

Maintain call center operation (Thursday – Tuesday 8 am – 8pm)

Monday 10am - lost power

Re-evacuate residents.

Flood hits returning home

Flood hits – returning home. aging population

Tuesday – Re-launch – Welcome home (re-entry)

Hotels first, Homes second

Check in to each Community

Coming home letters for all residents and family thanking and re- enforcing our values.

Visible Silvera leadership

Maintained our call centre for any ‘post return’ calls to 8pm


Dealing with Resident trauma

Thank yous

Post Flood Newsletter


Timeline and Debrief


What went well

What went well aging population


Staff know residents both SL and IL

Relationships with partners (CBI (homecare ) and pharmacy and Vital Air)


One lead on communications managing it from start to finish

Use of Website and social media

Ability to communicate real time – versus managing calls (family went to website for status and direction for return)

Preparing continuous updates and key messages to those staffing the call centre – continuity of message

Keeping residents informed

What went well1

What went well aging population

Staff - Strong Culture of caring and team:

Having the Leadership/Management discuss/ready with ‘what if we are impacted” - assessing risk

Staff fully engaged

Clear roles - stick to their new task/role (not stepping on each other)

Communicate immediately – who is in charge (and any change in command)

Have a backup to key roles

Remember your staff are affected too (EAP benefits)

Not everyone is at the heart of the crisis – shift out

Control Centre:

Setting up a control/call centre (off site – out of the crisis)

What went well2

What went well aging population

We know our residents care needs

Communication with partners

Our buildings (your homes) - our decision

We have strong leadership which meant people knew their strengths and had the ability to mobilize

Culture of trust and facing challenges as a team

We had made SAFETY a priority in our organization which includes KNOWING YOUR RESIDENTS.

We had invested in our IT, website and technology (websites, Blackberries for Management/key roles)

Having website and ability to upload real-time information (resident and staff updates )

Being able to work virtually

Group directories set up to communicate within key groups (all CRMs, All Directors)

What went well3

What went well aging population

Post flood:

Have staff track timeline and key actions/changes (control centre)

Debrief as soon as possible

Document processes (improvements)

Revise processes and develop training to support ability to better respond

Regular training ‘real response ‘ practise

Acknowledge and be leader present:

Thank staff – build team and ‘one’ culture

Communicate to all staff throughout the emergency

Communicate to the residents

Communicate to families

Monitor the aftermath of trauma – EAP for staff, Health and Mental Health care for residents dealing with stress

Celebrate success :

Thank everyone

What did we learn

What did we learn aging population

Learning as we went and in hindsight.


Set maximum shifts (safety)

Call centre – rotate staff as this post is extremely emotionally challenging

One lead for all public communication

Back up key roles:

Chief in charge – Second in command

Backup to building maintenance (maintenance can tend to work all hours and no one see them)

Service Director , Community Managers – not all in at the same time (its not all hands on deck 24/7)

Support the staff - EAP

Back up to on site managers and direct service staff

What we learned and or could improve

What we learned and/or could improve aging population

Continuous improvement – based on some learnings…

Knowledge of the flood/risk zones - Condition of buildings limits risks (i.e. no elevator backup)

FOIP – constant updates for resident emergency contacts (reality that contacts pass/also have memory loss)

Virtual access to employee information – staffing schedules

Having emergency plans for multiple IL/SL sites not just single sites

Crisis Communication Plan and team – re-establish roles/responsibilities/members

Major Emergency toolkit at each location

Manage staff overworking risks – maximum shift durations (maximums)

Chain of command and roles

Define core service – must haves of temporary housing (some hotels will not work for seniors)

Technology to record and re-record resident locations as they shift

Questions you may ask yourself organization

Questions you may ask yourself/organization? aging population

Can you carry on day to day business in a crisis/disaster?

Do you know your residents (special needs)

What do you think are your core or essential services?

What do you need in place to ensure continuity of services/operation?

Do you have peak service timeframes therefore peak staffing?

What is our maximum tolerable outage?

Where are your records? (Client records, POA, NOK, Emergency contacts, medical records, homecare files)

Where are your staff records? (Contact information)

Do you know your Buildings?

Evacuation procedures for each building? (single building, multiple buildings)

Muster points, safety equipment

Back up elevator generators, sump pumps, fire suppressants, alarms, master keys, emergency lights

Do your staff feel confident?

Know their roles in an emergency, procedures, have they practiced

Do you have ongoing training for emergency – have you fully evacuated – “go live”

Do you have established partnerships?

Hotel, role of other partner NGOs/housing, share staff, service support for care needs

Thank you

Thank you aging population