Seniors Can Sign Up For JFS Storm Alert Team

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Jewish Family Services created Storm Alert Team to check on seniors after major weather events

Staff report

Seniors who are living alone can register with Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services for its Storm Alert Team, which will check in after a major weather event.

While the nonprofit is not a first responder agency, JFS will help those registered before or after a storm.

Last month, JFS distributed hurricane supplies and non-perishable food to 600 clients. Each June JFS reviews their Hurricane Emergency Preparedness process and reviews their plan of action before and after a major weather event. Preparations have begun to expand its existing emergency response efforts before and immediately after the storm.

JFS is proactively encouraging seniors living alone who are not already clients of the agency, to register with them so that JFS can check in on them before and after major weather events. You do not have to be an existing agency client to register and your contact information will remain confidential and not shared with any other program or service of the agency.

“We want every senior in south Palm Beach County to be safe and to have the support they need after a crisis,” said JFS President and CEO, Danielle Hartman. “Last year we opened up a registration line and had over 30 families contact us to register their loved ones as they were living out of State and were not here to check in themselves. This year we decided to be pro-active with this registration process and are actively encouraging seniors, particularly those living alone with no family close by, to connect with us now, rather than waiting until a crisis.”

One of the biggest challenges JFS faced post-Irma was that JFS knew people needed help but didn’t know specifically where they lived or what they needed.

There is no charge to register for this program, however, it is restricted to clients residing in the JFS service area of Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Highland Beach.

In addition, JFS is looking for volunteers to join the JFS Storm Alert Team. These teams of volunteers will be deployed after a major weather event to bring water and supplies to those who need it.

“Last year our volunteers were invaluable in helping to bring ice, water and food to seniors who could not get out due to long power outages which made their elevators unusable,” Hartman said. “We were able to mobilize volunteers working with other community groups on a very short notice. This year we want to be more pro-active and have even more people ready to help us.”

Seniors living in Boca Raton, Delray Beach or Highland Beach can register (or their families can register them) for the program by visiting www.ralesjfs.org/stormreg or by calling 561.852.3380. Those wishing to volunteer on the JFS Storm Recovery Team can do so by visiting www.ralesjfs.org/stormvol.