​The agility that many teams developed or sharpened during the past year came in handy sooner than expected for some. For instance, many centers in Texas had to deal with power outages, water shortages, and frozen pipes during a recent cold snap.

“Our organization has always been about servant leadership, and that set the tone for 2020 and now 2021. We were placed in a situation where the saving grace was coming from within,” says Buster Peter, administrator of Park Bend Health Center in Austin, Texas. For instance, he says, “When our water went out, our staff leaders were at the laundromat doing laundry.”

Jennifer Oguin, DONPeter’s college years in the Northeast and experience driving in the snow and ice served him—and his team—well during the storm. He was able to put that skill to use picking up and dropping off staff who otherwise would have been unable to get to work because of the weather.

Much like throughout the pandemic, it was important to attend to staff needs. “One staffer had a child who suffered from hypothermia during the storm, and we reached out and offered help and resources,” Peter says. Of course, keeping residents safe and comfortable was paramount, and people brought in scarves, mittens, and hats to keep them warm.

Jennifer Oguin, DON, at Trinity Care Center in Round Rock, Texas, helped out in the kitchen, making meals. “My family and friends thought this was pretty funny, because I’m not known as a great cook. But I did fine, and it’s so gratifying to help out and support others during a crisis. We really are in it together.”