Four years ago, Hurricane Irma left many local seniors stranded.
They were living alone for days, without hot meals, warm showers, powered elevators or family members close by. In response, the leadership at Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services (JFS) decided to create a registry that would identify vulnerable seniors, who needed someone to check in with them before and after severe weather events.
The Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County proudly supports JFS, as it helps residents in Delray Beach, Boca Raton and Highland Beach prepare for the 2021 hurricane season, which began June 1. Your gifts enable JFS to respond, when vulnerable seniors are in need.
“JFS takes our responsibility to help seniors, particularly those living alone in our community with no family nearby, very seriously,” said Danielle Hartman, JFS President & CEO. “Although JFS is not a first responder agency, JFS coordinates with first responder agencies and plays a vital role before and after major weather events.”
Do you need help or know someone who does? Would you like to help? Sign up!
JFS’ Storm Team is currently seeking more volunteers to make calls and visit residents who are 65 or older. It also welcomes any seniors who need this service to call and register for it. The service is free and available to those who are isolated and who live within the Federation’s catchment area. Registrants’ information will remain confidential and used only for this purpose.
“Our volunteers are amazing and make sure that seniors know they are not alone. Before the registry was created, other agencies were also trying to help, and we were tripping over each other, visiting the same people multiple times,” Hartman said. “The registry helps us to contact exactly who needs us, and our Storm Team will relay any medical emergencies to first responders. Our Storm Team does not move people or take them to hospitals, but we do communicate with those who can.”
Seniors living in Boca Raton, Delray Beach or Highland Beach can register (or their families can register for them) for the program online at www.ralesjfs.org/stormreg or by calling at 561.852.5044. Those wishing to volunteer on the JFS Storm Recovery Team can do so by visiting www.ralesjfs.org/stormvol.
“Last year, more than 200 residents, or their family members, registered for this service and found it invaluable,” Hartman said. “When we responded after Hurricane Irma, the biggest request was for ice and hot meals.”
JFS’ Storm Registry is so popular that it has been replicated in Texas.