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"It could've been a disaster" - Tallahassee seniors push for improved safety at low-income complex

Posted at 5:12 PM, May 21, 2024
  • Seniors living at the Brookestone Senior Living complex are meeting with complex managers and state officials over concerns regarding emergency safety.
  • This follows neighbors claims that over 200 seniors were left by management with no power, some stuck on the second third floor.
  • Watch the video to hear why one neighbor says this needs to be fixed.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Seniors living at a complex off of Apalachee Parkway say state and local officials are meeting with neighbors about concerns over safety.

Neighbors told ABC 27's Kendall Brandt on May 13 they were left without help after May 10's tornadoes until state resources arrived.

WATCH OUR PREVIOUS COVERAGE BELOW:

Neighbors in Brookstone Senior Living felt left behind after storm; how community responded

"We need the elevators to work and we need the lights to work, the power emergency generators being backed up, so we don't have a repetition of what happened last week," said neighbor David Hand.

Hand, a resident at Brookestone, said his friends at the complex are in need of after losing power for three days after tornadoes ripped through this neighborhood.

He said conditions were unsafe for handicapped neighbors and management was no where to be found.

"We were stranded here in the building with no lights, no electricity, the emergency lights went out so we had no air conditioning, no power," Hand said. "We were totally in the dark for three and a half days."

ABC 27's Kendall Brandt reached out to Brookestone's parent company, Cambridge Management on May 13 and May 21.

They have yet to give any comment regarding concerns neighbors like Hand have expressed.

Shortly after the tornado, our team spoke with Jocelyn Fliger of Big Bend Elder Care Services, a non-profit that helps seniors in our area, including the ones at Brookestone.

She said it's important for complexes like this one to have an emergency plan.

"Often times, elders, by our physiology, are more vulnerable than others, so not taking that vulnerability into account when providing housing can have really detrimental effects on the residents," Fliger said.

That's why Hand and other neighbors organized a meeting with the complex management, neighbors, State Representative Allison Tant and State Senator Corey Simon.

"It could have been a disaster because we have people on the second and third floor in wheel chairs, with disabilities, medical issues," Hand said. "If there had been a fire, we would've been totally stranded."

He said he has hope that they can get the issues resolved without having to take legal action, but will do that if necessary.

"We're hopeful that Cambridge management will voluntarily move forward in providing the remedies that we need," Hand said.

Neighbors like Hand will be gathering at the complex Saturday, May 25 at 11 a.m. to meet with the company representatives and local leaders.