What we learned from hurricane Irma

Bayshore has served Tampa Bay for 31 years, but never have we faced a test quite like Irma. “It was challenging to say the least,” said owner, Suzanne Johnson. “We were checking the forecast twice every hour to see what we needed to do to make sure all our clients and caregivers would be safe.” By the end of the week, each client had a plan in place and knew where they would be during the storm and who would be “hunkering down” with them. “It really was amazing to see the whole team work together and do all that needed done to prepare for the storm.”

Our caregivers’ compassion and reliability was on full display during the storm. A dozen unique stories could have been written about the way these individuals exhibited the very best of Bayshore. Several of our caregivers packed their suitcases and moved in with our clients so that they could maintain their peace of mind and provide for their needs during the storm. There was one caregiver who willingly slept on an air mattress in a nursing home so that she would be available at a moment’s notice. In fact, the facility staff told us that she was not only attentive to the clients under her care but also to many others who required extra help. Some of our staff even stayed at evacuation shelters with our clients to ensure their needs where met. And several caregivers braved the road debris to get to their clients’ homes in the early morning hours after the storm had past. “All I can say is, we have some superstar caregivers and they all deserve an enormous thank you,” said Johnson.

In the week following the storm our offices had very limited power, phones and internet and yet we were able to work as a team and get the job done regardless. We learned many valuable lessons this summer, but the two greatest have been that our team is  STRONG under pressure and our emergency preparedness plans work.

While we hope more than three decades pass before another hurricane sets its sights on our coast again, we are more confident than ever that we have the practices and people in place to offer excellent care no matter the obstacles. We know that without extraordinary caregivers our job would have been much harder. That’s why we want to say, “THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!” to our beloved caregivers. You all rock!


Written by: Hunter Hughes, HR Coordinator