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Power Failure: Long-term Care Facilities Not Ready for Hurricane


By Cathryn Jakicic Emergency Preparedness
an aerial view showing the extent of flooding caused by hurricane

When Hurricane Michael hit the Florida panhandle in October, many of Florida’s assisted-living facilities and nursing homes had yet to implement emergency power plans, even after receiving extensions from the state to comply, according to Tampa Bay Times.

A review of data maintained by the Agency for Health Care Administration shows that in 33 counties encompassing the western half of the state south to Hernando County and east to Putnam County, more than half of the 412 assisted-living facilities and nursing homes have yet to implement their emergency power plans.

Gov. Rick Scott first ordered requiring backup generators for air-conditioning in September 2017, days after a dozen residents overheated and died at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills following Hurricane Irma.

When the legislature passed regulations earlier this year requiring emergency power in long-term care facilities, Hurricane Michael was exactly the kind of disaster lawmakers had in mind, but hundreds of facilities in the region where Michael's impact is being felt hardest still had not implemented those regulations.

In the state’s panhandle and Big Bend regions, more than one-half of the facilities have been exempted from meeting the rule by June 1, according to the agency's data, and are still implementing the requirements.

Cathryn Jakicic is healthcare industries editor of FacilitiesNet.com. For more information on hospital campuses and other medical facilities, click here.

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