Local assisted living facility prepares for hurricane season

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – The Blake in Panama City Beach is getting ahead of the storm with hurricane season here.

“If a hurricane were to head our way, we would evacuate if necessary,” said The Blake’s director of facilities management in Panama City Beach, Drake Garrett. “Otherwise, we have plans in place to stay put. We have a generator and are currently ordering water storage supplies. Stuff like that to make sure we have everything we need to shelter in place.

The assisted living facility is less than two years old and is designed to withstand a category four hurricane.

“As we saw with Michael in Mexico Beach, the old houses were just completely destroyed, so having up-to-date code is really important,” Garrett said.

However, if residents need to evacuate the property, there are solutions in place.

“Our first choice would probably be Miramar Beach,” Garrett said. “It’s a bit close but hopefully far enough that we can get out of the way.” Next would be Pensacola, and then further down the line there are several facilities in the southeast.

The Blake has a shuttle, but Garrett said they could coordinate additional transportation if needed.

“We would obviously probably need help from maybe, like hospitals, emergency transport, stuff like that to help.”

The facility’s generator is also tested weekly to ensure that it functions properly when mother nature strikes.

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