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Say good-bye to weather woes

Charlestown lets you go about your life no matter what Mother Nature brings

Created date

December 25th, 2012

As Hurricane Sandy s high winds howled outside and the rain came down in sheets, Dottie Sullivan was inside Charlestown s on-site fitness center performing her regular Tuesday morning exercise routine.

Life goes on

One of the great things about living atCharlestownis I don t have to worry about getting out to an appointment or to do the things I normally do because everything I need is right here. Life goes on here no matter what the weather is doing outside, says Dottie, who was also able to make her ballroom dance class and dermatology appointment on Monday as the storm first made landfall. This is an amazing place to live; I don t have to worry about a thing. Thanks to Charlestown s ingenious everything-under-one-roof design, community members like Dottie can stay active and engaged regardless of what Mother Nature brings. Charlestown was designed to be pedestrian friendly, says Associate Executive Director Vinson Bankoski. Everything from an on-site bank, fitness center, hair salon, library, six different restaurants, and a medical center are all accessible through enclosed, climate-controlled walkways or bridges. So even if there s a foot of snow on the ground, you can still go about your normal routine without any worries.

No surprise expenses

Charles and Carolyn Denton moved to Charlestown, an Erickson Living community in Catonsville, Md., from Ellicott City five years ago. They especially appreciate the weatherproof, maintenance-free aspects of their home. We feel much more secure here at Charlestown because we know there s help here no matter what kind of problem we have, and that s really comforting, says Charles. From snow removal to checking heating units to appliance repair or replacement, the highly skilled maintenance staff at Charlestown responds quickly seven days a week. And all apartment home maintenance and repairs are included in the monthly service package, so residents have no unexpected costs throughout the year. Carol Rexford had grown tired of contending with a flood-prone basement at her former house in Catonsville. I had a battery backup installed on my sump pump because the electricity went out during a storm once and my basement flooded, says Carol. Still, whenever it stormed, I was constantly checking to make sure it was operating correctly. It s so nice not having to worry about that kind of stuff anymore.

Business as usual

Whether it s a flooded basement, a tree falling on a house or losing power during a snow storm, residents can relax because the fears and headaches of home ownership disappear when you move to Charlestown, Bankoski says. Our goal is to ensure that it s business as usual during any weather-related event, says Bankoski. For example, during the hurricane, all of our restaurants were well stocked and prepared to serve over 3,000 meals a day for at least three days without any need to restock; we had backup generators on hand; our medical staff was on-call for any medical-related emergencies; and we also had our fleet of security vehicles and shuttles ready to transport any critical personnel to the community. More than 100 Charlestown staff members stayed overnight in the conference center to ensure the community would function normally the next day in case of road closures or mass transit delays. Prior to the hurricane, the community employed their SwiftReach emergency notification system, which allowed Charlestown management to communicate important information with residents via prerecorded phone messages. Information also appeared on the in-house television station 972. I ve been through many weather events over the nine years I ve worked at Charlestown there was the Snowmaggedon in 2010, an earthquake in 2011, and hurricane Sandy in October last year, says Bankoski. As I walk through the community during what typically would be a stressful time you can see on residents faces that it is at these times when they are happiest to be living in such a safe and caring community.

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