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Generators at elderly care facilities

Posted: 7:36 PM, Aug 30, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-30 19:45:35-04
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PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Thirty one elder care facilities in our 5 county area, still don't have generators or an evacuation plan. That's according to state records , released Friday.

Two years ago, a dozen nursing home residents in Hollywood, Florida died from heat-related causes after Hurricane Irma. As a result, the state created a law requiring nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have generators, and enough fuel to last for 96 hours without power.

We reported last month that while some didn't have any plans or generators, others weren't granted extensions by the state to get permanent plans in place.

Two years ago, a dozen nursing home residents in Hollywood, Florida died from heat-related causes after Hurricane Irma. As a result, the state created a law requiring nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have generators, and enough fuel to last for 96 hours without power.

We reported last month that while some didn't have any plans or generators, others weren't granted extensions by the state to get permanent plans in place.

State representatives with the Agency for Health Care Administration were out doing site visits Friday, to those without permanent plans, but West Palm Beach and Palm Beach County officials took matters into their owns hands as well.

At Lourdes Noreen McKeen Residence in West Palm Beach, they aren't taking any chances.

With 250 residents to look after, they say their generator, and backups are good to go.

"The generator has been through hurricane Jean, Frances, the one we just had and it ran great," says Director of Operations Ernie Credidio. "Everything has been serviced this year on 8-13-19."

Credidio says they have fuel to last more than 150 hours.

"I have 6200 gallons of fuel on-site," says Credidio.

Governor Ron DeSantis said Friday, that all nursing homes and ALFs should have a plan no matter what.

I mean, you know at this point that you could lose power. And so, what are you gonna do if that ends up happening?" said DeSantis.

In West Palm Beach, it wasn't an option for eldercare facilities not to have generators.

"We are proactive this time. So we sent a team out, two police, two fire to each of the nursing homes, ALFs to make sure they were complying, make sure they had the generator in place, etc. and I'm pleased to say they all checked out clean," says West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James.

Earlier this year, Palm Beach County Commissioner Greg Weiss and his team created a map using state data, to help emergency management identify the places most in need.

"We know the priorities and where we need to be able to look to make sure everybody is safe," said Weiss. "I'm comfortable with where our emergency management people are."