Local Nursing Home Patients Prepared for Tropical Weather

All eyes are on the projected path of Hurricane Ivan, including the eyes of nursing home officials.

Patty Fowles assumes responsibility for her 68 residents at the Hospitality Care Center and she's prepared to weather the storm.

Fowles said, “We have boarded up all our windows, taped them up. We have plenty of food on hand.”

Fowles says the building can sustain hurricane-type weather and there are no plans to evacuate. However, there are other issues.

Melbourne Kelly, director of Thomas County EMS, said, “Our main concern is the power sources they would have some have generators some are in the process of getting generator power. We're preparing for a sustained period of time of being without electricity."

Fowles said, “We have many people with respiratory problems you can't just put those folks on hold. We got to keep oxygen running to be able to do any type of service like that we have to have power."

Fowles says though her worst fear is a direct hit in the Big Bend area, she's prepared in every way she knows how.

"We practiced it down to a science. I think we will be able to do this very well if we have an error of miss or if we get the real thing.”

Right now all she can do is wait on Ivan's progress and continue on with preparations. The Hospitality Care Center is preparing for staffing shortages if the hurricane hits, but all department heads are prepared to be there at the center around the clock for residents.