Nancy Emerson Lombardo urges all those appreciative of Elma’s leadership in nursing home reform and culture change to answer Kaplan’s challenge for us to raise funds for a tornado SafeRoom for Elma Holder who lives in tornado alley, just outside Oklahoma City.

Dear Friends of Elma,

I am sure that you all were as shaken and awed by Elma’s harrowing tornado experiences as I was.  The stories of destruction and terror, and of heroism and survival are breathtaking.  I remember Elma telling me several years ago, when I called after hearing about a tornado in her area, that she and her family always went to her backyard storm cellar.  Now that she’s moved to a smaller place, unfortunately, Elma has no storm cellar or basement.  (Apparently most Oklahomans do not.)  And worse, this newer more powerful type of tornado makes the safety of a hallway closet inadequate.  While we can’t stop the tornadoes, there is something that we can do to help keep Elma safe.  It’s called a tornado shelter.  My research led me to the same company that one of Elma’s friends has used and is very happy with (especially after these last frightening and devastating tornadoes.)

The FlatSafe Tornado Shelter company, in Yukon, OK (where Elma lives), builds underground and above ground (in garage) shelters.  Their website is very impressive:   These shelters appear to meet a number of FEMA standards and other OK codes.  The cost for an above ground 4 x 8 saferoom for 8-10 people (standing) is $4800 including installation. This is the largest size.

Tornado Safe Room for Garage



Elma herself cannot afford such an expense on a fixed social security income.  I will contribute $1,000 towards the purchase and I’m writing to ask all of you to give what you can so that we can purchase the shelter and help keep Elma (with her immediate family) safe.  I propose that anyone who is interested, please send a check made payable to Elma Holder to my office (attn: Morris Kaplan, Gwynedd Square Nursing Center, 773 Sumneytown Pike, Lansdale, PA 19446, phone: 215-699-5000).  I will send the donations to Elma. If you can email me and let me know to expect it, I can try to let everyone know the amount raised as we proceed.  The amount you donate will be kept private unless you let Elma know directly how you want it handled. Any amount will help and be greatly appreciated.

There are many bad things in life that we cannot protect ourselves or our loved ones from.  This is one thing that we can do something about.  Please join me in helping to keep Elma safe.

Thank you and best wishes,

Morris Kaplan

Gwynedd Square Nursing Center

773 Sumneytown Pike,  Lansdale, PA               

(215) 699-5000


Family owned & operated since 1980

P.S.  In case you did not receive a copy of Elma’s account of the May tornadoes, I’m attaching a copy. (SEE NEXT BLOG) Also, please note that Elma’s Yahoo e-mail account was compromised in May. She is working at reconstructing her lost contact list (both e-mail addresses and mailing addresses) since she has switched to a new g-mail account:

Sent: 7/3/2013 3:28:33 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: Fwd: OK Tornadoes and my personal thanks


For our readers, you may want to learn more about Morris Kaplan’s nursing home because it is very highly rated and he is considered a leader in the culture change movement.  Here is the website and something I copied from it:

Gwynedd Square is rated 5 stars out of 5 stars by the U.S. Government

Gwynedd Square is a recognized leader in dementia care and has been selected by the US Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services, as a model for reducing antipsychotic drug use and improving care for residents with dementia. 

See US Gov. Webcast featuring Gwynedd Square:


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