Irma Update

There is no doubt that Hurricane Irma caused much damage to the state of Florida, and created a tremendous amount of stress, anxiety and concern for its citizens and visitors alike.

We sincerely hope that everyone stayed safe during the storm, and have since been able to get in touch with your loved ones.

Moreover, we owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our devoted team members who worked tirelessly and selflessly to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our residents. The way in which we all came together to prepare for and respond to Hurricane Irma strengthened our team and resident bonds even more so.

Now that the storm has passed, the Westchester Gardens family is looking forward to sunny skies ahead! We are happy to have returned to our daily activities as normal. We would like to extend a thank you to all family members, friends and others for checking our updates on the website and Facebook page during the storm, as well as your patience.

During natural disasters as well as the everyday, we are dedicated to providing residents with support, care and services, ensuring their safety 24/7. If you have a friend or loved one who may be interested in our community or require additional care, we invite you to contact us directly at 727-785-8335.

Hurricane Irma Preparedness

The safety and well-being of our residents and employees is our highest priority. We have a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan in place, and are equipped with water, food, permanent or temporary generators, and supplies. Appropriate actions are being taken and will continue to be taken in order to keep everyone safe as we watch the storm closely. Our leadership is in close communication with our management company’s executive leadership team. Directions provided by local and state authorities are being monitored and will be followed as instructed.

For the latest weather information in your area choose one of the links below:

Hurricane Irma Updates

Latest updates in response to Hurricane Irma will be posted on this page. If you have any specific questions, please call our community at 727-785-8335.


Wednesday, September 13th @ 9:45am EDT.

Westchester Gardens has been fully operational now for more than 24 hours. This will be our last update. We would like to extend a thank you to all family members, friends and others for visiting this page for updates, as well as your patience. Please contact us directly with any further questions.

Tuesday, September 12th @ 10:35am EDT.

Note from our Executive Director, David Fitts: Telephone and data communications are working. We appreciate your patience, as cell phone coverage is still spotty. Everyone is doing well. Staff have done an incredible job of proactively tending to all residents.

Monday, September 11th @ 5:09pm EDT.

Note from our Executive Director, David Fitts:

  • Full power was restored as of 30 minutes ago, and we are no longer on generator power. Sandbags have been largely if not completely removed.  Plywood will be removed from windows tomorrow.  We are ensuring that all the transitions back to normalcy begin right away.
  • I am so grateful to The Westchester Team for their commitment, diligence and willingness to sacrifice for the good of the residents.  From the start, our team members showed up with great attitudes, worked with real dedication, and ended up having a great time with residents, their families and each other.  Approximately 95% of staff either showed up as scheduled, or volunteered for extra duty.  I am so thankful to be part of such an amazing team.
  • We sure appreciate The Goodman Group’s support. We’ve heard from families many times that the social media updates were helpful throughout the last few days.  The updates provded invaluable in terms of helping us communicate with families and showcasing some of the great things that were happening  I would also like to thank David Slutzker, our Regional Director of Operations for his support.  David is quick to reach out, and is always there for support whenever we need guidance of any sort.

Monday, September 11th @ 11:05am EDT.

  • No changes to report.
  • The generator continues to work well.
  • Indoor temperature is comfortable. Just cloud cover in our area.
  • Residents are staying well-hydrated with water and frozen treats.

Monday, September 11th @ 6:04am EDT.

A note from our Executive Director, David Fitts: Winds have significantly died down here.  There is no water damage or any known damage to the building we are aware of.  Residents are still sleeping for the most part.  Power to the building is still down, and our generator is working well. Temperature in building is good. We do have two portable AC units we will begin using later this morning.  Breakfast preparations are well underway.  Managers have rotated making rounds and sleeping to keep everyone fresh.

Sunday, September 10th @ 8:40pm EDT.

Our generator is currently running and working very well during this power outage.

Sunday, September 10th @ 5:25pm EDT.

Note from our Executive Director, David Fitts: Still moderate weather conditions at this point. Power remains on, but we have heard of outages reported three miles from our building. Our generator is ready in the case of an outage. Dining Services is doing a great job and is currently serving dinner to residents. In addition, we are in frequent contact with our sister communities at The Palms of Largo, adopting their best practices, as well as staying in touch with The Goodman Group management teams.

Sunday, September 10th @ 2:05pm EDT.

  • Note from Executive Director, David Fitts: “I am so amazed at how the Westchester Team is embracing making Platinum Service a reality through this adversity. They are really putting the residents at the center of everything they do! We are very well-staffed and well-represented with management. ”
  • Power is currently on.
  • We anticipate locking the doors at 5PM.  The front desk will be manned 24/7.
  • Dining Services put on a wonderful lunch for the entire building.

Sunday, September 10th @ 11:20am EDT.

  • Residents, staff and families are going about their normal activities. We are prepared on all fronts. All is calm.
  • It is our priority to continue to answer all family members’ questions and reassure residents and staff.

Saturday, September 9th @ 10:00pm EDT.

  • We are fully staffed with additional management on site. Families are being reassured and redirected to look for updates on our website and Facebook.
  • Plywood has been put up.
  • All sandbags have been put in place and we have ample water bladders filled in addition to our bottles of water.

Saturday, September 9th @ 2:05pm EDT.

  • Maintenance team and leadership are on-site making rounds.
  • The team is making final preparations including filling water containers, positioning sandbags, and covering windows with plywood.
  • Staff and their families are sheltering at our community and have plenty of space and supplies.

Friday, September 8th @ 10:25pm EDT.

This evening, Kim Te Brugge, Vice President of Operations for the senior living and health care division for The Goodman Group, participated in a phone call with Florida Governor, Rick Scott. During the call, Gov. Scott provided the following priorities for all senior living communities in Florida.

  • Priority will be made to help assisted living and skilled nursing communities with sourcing fuel after Hurricane for generators.
  • Healthcare providers will be placed as priority for restoring power.
  • Assistance will be available for sites that have mandatory evacuation order to find shelter.
  • Many shelters still have availability if evacuation is needed.

Gov. Scott will be hosting another call tomorrow night with updates, Kim, will be joining the call. The latest updates from the call with Gov. Scott will be posted on this page.

Friday, September 8th @ 4:25pm EDT.

  • Weather is currently stable in Clearwater.  No significant wind or rain.
  • Led by our Executive Director, we have been holding frequent meetings to touch base across teams.
  • Dependent on the circumstance, residents may need to be moved to safety on a higher floor. Food, beverages, water, and activities are available.
  • Executive Director and Maintenance Director are completing regular walkthroughs to test generator.
  • Additional staff members and volunteers are reporting to work and plan to stay through the events of the storm to ensure the safety, comfort and well-being of all residents.
  • Nursing staff is prepared to communicate using battery operated walkie-talkies to ensure we can continue meet residents’ needs.
  • All of the residents’ most current medical records have been printed and are readily accessible in the case of a power outage.
  • We have offered immediate staff members’ families to ride out the storm in the safety of the building in designated family areas.
  • We have Life Enrichment activities planned for each floor during the duration of the storm should the power go out.