When Hurricane Irma knocked out power to a Broward County nursing facility in September 2017, fourteen seniors ultimately lost their lives as a result of sweltering conditions. Prompted by that tragedy, Florida now requires nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have generators capable of running air conditioners.
Signed by Governor Rick Scott on March 26, 2018, the new law requires nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have alternative power sources that can maintain the temperature inside the building at 81 degrees or less for a minimum of four days. Also, the facility must have on site, at minimum, a three-day supply of fuel. Assisted living facilities with less than 17 beds may keep a two-day supply of fuel.
If you have a loved one residing in a nursing home, it would be prudent to call to find out what kind of back-up the facility has in place.
Nursing facilities face a July 1 deadline, but if extensive renovations are required for compliance, the deadline could be pushed back to January 1, 2019. Industry groups estimate facilities will face costs of about $351 million over the next five years in order to comply. Non-compliance can result in fines, or even loss of license.