Seniors Lead by Example
Mobil Country Club residents Jerry Drobesh, Bob Schroeder, and Antonio Martinez stand in front of the emergency evacuation golf cart storage structure, a City Community Enhancement Fund project that was completed at the end of July. Photo courtesy City of Rancho Cordova
Helping Each Other with Emergency Evacuation Plan
Rancho Cordova, CA (MPG) - When disaster strikes, preparation is key. Realizing that their senior mobile home park was not prepared to effectively respond to an emergency, a group of residents at the Mobil Country Club in Rancho Cordova decided to take action.
The almost 500 homes that make up Mobil Country Club sit just east of Sunrise Boulevard at the northeastern edge of Rancho Cordova. The park is reserved for seniors 55 years and older, about one-third of whom are handicapped or have some type of walking or driving limitation.
A group of residents came together and formed the Mobil Country Club Homeowners Association (HOA) a few years ago to discuss and address homeowner concerns. For example, until a few weeks ago, the park only had one clear evacuation exit onto heavily traveled Sunrise Boulevard if a flood, fire or other disaster were to strike the community.
“We started first with an emergency evacuation plan because that’s what the residents wanted,” said Carol Schroeder, President of the HOA and resident of the park for 16 years. “They felt that in the event of an emergency, there weren’t any guidelines. They wouldn’t know what to do.”
Led by a handful of Mobil Country Club residents, the HOA applied for grant funding from the City of Rancho Cordova’s Community Enhancement Fund and was awarded $38,754 to purchase two six-passenger electric golf carts, a storage structure, and other supplies, such as flashlights, to evacuate handicapped or slow-moving residents to safety.
However, “the golf carts won’t be sitting, waiting for an emergency to happen,” said Schroeder. Resident volunteers will also use the golf carts to shuttle residents within the park to social activities and facilities, including the parks’ clubhouse and laundry building, helping to improve the quality of life of many residents.
After consulting risk and evacuation specialists at Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District, the HOA designed a robust emergency evacuation guide for Mobil Country Club residents, which volunteers distributed to each home last week.
The guide includes a map assigning clear evacuation routes for specific sections of the park and gives step-by-step procedures for five types of disasters: fire, earthquake, tornado, bomb threats, and floods.
The HOA says the guide is the first of its kind in the Sacramento region designed specifically to meet the needs of mobile home park residents. “Other parks want to know what we’re doing so they can follow suit,” said Antonio Martinez, one of the key members of the HOA. The HOA expects some of the 12 to 15 other mobile home parks in the Sacramento region to use their evacuation guide as a model.
Bob Schroeder, another key HOA member said, “The impact of this project is the mere fact that residents have a way to get around that they didn’t have before. The people really appreciate it.”
Source: City of Rancho Cordova