Gov. Rick Scott held a signing ceremony Monday for measures that make permanent the state’s emergency rules requiring every nursing home and assisted living facility in Florida to have emergency generators.
That followed the deaths of residents of The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, a Broward County nursing home that lost its air-conditioning system during Hurricane Irma.
“The tragedy at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills made it clear more needed to be done to ensure the protection of vulnerable Floridians during emergencies like Hurricane Irma,” he said in a statement. “That is why I immediately ordered state agencies to issue emergency rules requiring each nursing home and ALF in Florida to have emergency generators on hand to keep residents safe.
“We fought aggressively to quickly implement this life-saving rule at facilities across the state and I am proud to sign legislation today that makes this rule permanent,” he added. “Florida is one of the first states in the nation to require emergency generators at nursing homes and ALFs, and I appreciate the work of Senate President Joe Negron, House Speaker Richard Corcoran, and all the legislators who supported this important legislation.
“As we near the 2018 hurricane season, families can now know the facilities responsible for caring for their loved ones will have the resources needed to be fully prepared ahead of any potential storms.”
The signing event was at the Calusa Harbor Health Center, Continuing Care Community, in Fort Myers.
Along with a requirement that facilities also have 72 hours’ worth of fuel, lawmakers also OK’d a tax break for homes that purchase electric generators.
The News Service of Florida contributed to this post.