FORT MYERS, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - On Monday, March 26th, Governor Rick Scott signed SB 7028 and HB 7099, which makes permanent the emergency rules requiring every nursing home and ALF in Florida to have emergency generators to keep residents safe.
Governor Scott directed the Florida Agency for Care Administration (AHCA) and the Florida Department of Elder Affairs (DEA) to issue the emergency rules immediately following the tragedy at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills during Hurricane Irma last year.
Governor Scott said, “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. 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. 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.”
AHCA Secretary Justin Senior said, “Governor Scott has been clear since day one that the goal of this rule is to ensure a safe environment. With today’s bill signing, our Agency can move forward with implementing this emergency power plan rule to ensure that nursing homes and assisted living facilities are prepared for the start of the upcoming hurricane season. Florida faces an annual risk from Mother Nature, and these rules will help keep seniors safe during a possible devastating weather event or periods with prolonged power outage.”