Hurricane Irma caused extensive damage throughout Florida and Georgia, knocking out power to several areas for days. One nursing home that was affected by the power outage did not have an emergency generator capable of powering the facility’s air-conditioning, leading to the deaths of eight seniors. The Orlando Sentinel reports on how Florida Governor Rick Scott is making a move requiring nursing homes to have generators capable of running their air-conditioning.
This Saturday, the Florida Health Care Association will host an emergency preparedness “summit” in Tallahassee. This past Saturday, Governor Rick Scott ordered the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Department of Elder Affairs to issue emergency rules. These rules would force nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have backup power systems capable of keeping their buildings cool.
This move comes after the deaths of 8 seniors who were staying at The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, which occurred last Wednesday. Hurricane Irma had knocked out power to the facility three days previous.
Under the emergency rules, facilities would have 45 days to submit plans detailing how they would obtain and install emergency generators capable of running air-conditioning for at least 96 hours after a power outage. The generators must be able of maintaining air temperatures lower than 80 degrees. The facilities would then have 60 days to carry out the plans.
It is unexpected that the call for these new rules will affect the current hurricane season, which ends in November.
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