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Weather permitting or not

‘Under one roof’ design leaves Mother Nature out in the cold

Created date

December 25th, 2012

On a Monday afternoon, Elaine Wilkinson walked to one of the nearby restaurants at Oak Crest to pick up her carryout order. But this wasn t just any Monday. It was the Monday in October 2012 when Hurricane Sandy barreled up the East Coast. Everything was business as usual, says Elaine, a retired nurse who lives at the Parkville, Md., Erickson Living community. The restaurant was fully staffed and operating as it normally does. Whenever bad weather is predicted, I never have any worries because I know they have everything under control.

Life uninterrupted

Thanks to Oak Crest s ingenious everything under one roof design, community members, like Elaine, can go about their normal everyday routines regardless of what Mother Nature brings. Pedestrian-friendly, climate-controlled walkways make everything from the on-site bank, fitness center, and hair salon to the library, multiple restaurants, and medical center accessible, even with a foot of snow outside. Having the ability to stay active and socially engaged regardless of the weather is a huge advantage to living at Oak Crest, says Executive Director Colleen LoPresto. Even when it s snowing out, our community members are able to stick to their regular fitness routine, have dinner with friends, or make their doctor s appointment. During the worst of Hurricane Sandy, Oak Crest was abuzz with activity. By the look of things inside, you would have thought it was 72 degrees and sunny outside. From snow removal to checking heating units to appliance repair or replacement, the highly skilled maintenance staff at Oak Crest responds quickly seven days a week. And the monthly service package residents pay includes all apartment home maintenance and repairs so residents have no unexpected costs throughout the year. Elaine moved to Oak Crest from Bel Air, Md., ten years ago. She especially appreciates the maintenance-free aspect of her home, in addition to it being weatherproof. I had an eight-room house with an in-ground pool, and I often find myself saying to my sister who also lives here at Oak Crest, Aren t you glad you don t still live in your house? says Elaine. I would have so many worries about the roof leaking and just all of the things that can go wrong when you own a house.

Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat

We are equipped to handle anything the weather throws our way, says LoPresto. During a power outage, we have emergency generators that keep the electric on in all of our public areas and hallways. Emergency medical staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And our restaurants are open and well-stocked to serve over 3,000 meals a day for at least three days. Before Hurricane Sandy hit, the community employed their SwiftReach emergency notification system, which allowed Oak Crest management to communicate important preparation information with residents via prerecorded messages. Information also appeared on Oak Crest s in-house television station WOCV TV Channel 973. I m so happy that I m here, says Elaine. I can never say enough good things about how well Oak Crest operates. They just don t leave a stone unturned. There s nothing they haven t thought of. LoPresto says she regularly receives compliments and letters from residents like Elaine about how delighted they are to be living at Oak Crest, especially during an extreme weather-related event like a hurricane or a snowstorm. Most of them tell me they don t have a care in the world except for their kids and grandkids who aren t lucky enough to live at Oak Crest.