Hurricane Season Preparedness: Helping Our Residents Weather Any Storm

| Hurricane Updates, John Knox News, Resources for Seniors

Hurricane season has begun, and forecasters are calling for significantly more—and more powerful—storms than ever. The good news is that John Knox Village of Central Florida is always prepared.

As a shelter-in-place senior community, John Knox Village provides a safe and secure environment where our residents can enjoy peace of mind regardless of what life (or Mother Nature) throws at them. Unless local or state authorities call for a mandatory evacuation, our residents, including those in assisted living and skilled nursing, receive uninterrupted care right where they are.

In addition to ensuring the safety of our own residents, we also have the ability to provide temporary shelter for residents of other communities that may be located closer to the water or have needs that can’t be met.

How We Prepare for Hurricane Season

At John Knox Village, safety is no accident. In order for our community to shelter in place during a hurricane or other natural disaster, our team prepares year-round and follows all state and local recommendations and requirements. Our hurricane emergency planning includes:

  • Community-wide drills and seminars to prepare staff and residents for upcoming storms
  • A commercial-grade weather station at our front gatehouse for precise local conditions
  • Backup generators to power our water plant, extra storage tanks, regular water quality tests and procedures in place if a “boil notice” is activated
  • An emergency backup valve that taps into the Orange City water system
  • Weekly and monthly performance checks and annual full-load stress tests on all community generators (4 stationary, 4 portable)
  • Vendor agreements for emergency drinking water and other supplies as needed
  • 1,200 sandbags, (2) 1,000-gallon portable fuel tanks, 55’ lift, backhoe, forklift, multiple vehicles and golf carts on site
  • Review of staff member roles, designation of shelter-in-place and cleanup crews, and preparations for staff to stay on site during the entire shelter-in-place period
  • Battery-operated flashlights and lanterns to provide backup lighting in public areas
  • Annual tree evaluations by an outside arborist to ensure stability and trimming or removal as needed
  • Coordination with adjacent communities in the event they need to relocate any of their residents to our community
  • Education on hurricane preparedness and checklists for residents

Sheltering in Place: During the Storm

During a hurricane, John Knox Village remains running and fully staffed. Our residents enjoy three meals a day for the duration, though some of our venues may offer limited service. We have accommodations available for staff and their immediate families to shelter in place on site until it’s safe to return to life as normal.

During storms or natural disaster, emergency personnel drive around the community to provide assistance to residents who may need it. Every resident at John Knox Village is provided with strobe lights to place in windows or outside their doors to alert patrolling staff that they need help.

We keep updated lists of all resident medications that require refrigeration so we can store them in one of our generator-powered refrigerators in the event of a power outage. Our medical team, which includes our resident nurse, director of clinical services—who is also an RN—and a team of emergency medical professionals remain on campus around-the-clock until the storm passes. Throughout the shelter-in-place period, the nurses and medical team make house calls to ensure residents have their required medications and are storing them at the proper temperature. They also check that residents who require oxygen have power or portable backup tanks. If needed, we will relocate residents to other areas of our community that better meet their needs.

Communication Is a Three-Way Street

We understand that in extreme weather events or natural disasters, we need to keep more than just our residents informed. That’s why we make every effort to update our social media accounts regularly and staff our phones 24/7, so we can provide their friends and families with the most current information and reassurance that their loved ones are safe. We also ask residents to let us know if they’re leaving the community or have relocated to a different area with another neighbor or friend within the community so we can account for and keep everyone safe.

Communication Channels

  • Resident meetings
  • Printed handouts
  • VAL: Village Alert Line
  • Knox T.V.
  • Our website (
  • Our Facebook page (
  • Resident portal
  • Door-to-door communication from security and staff

Getting Back to Life: The Calm After the Storm

Once the storm has passed and it’s deemed safe to do so, our cleanup crew clears debris, repairs storm damage and returns our community to its beautiful pre-storm condition where both residents and staff can thrive.

To learn more about life at John Knox Village of Central Florida or schedule a tour of our beautiful 200-acre campus, call (386) 775-0788

For additional ways to prepare for hurricane season, visit