Florida Sets Emergency Generator Rules for Nursing Homes

Police officers talk to an employee at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills in Hollywood Fla. Wednesday Sept. 13 2017. Several patients at the sweltering nursing home died in Hurricane Irma's aftermath authorities said Wednesday. The

Florida Sets Emergency Generator Rules for Nursing Homes

Irma, which ranked as one of the most powerful Atlantic storms on record before striking the USA mainland as a Category 4 hurricane on September 10, killed at least 84 people. It killed at least 84 people, many of them in the Caribbean.

Police obtained a search warrant on Thursday in their criminal investigation into the deaths, while Florida's healthcare agency ordered the nursing home to be suspended from the state Medicaid program. A Hollywood, Florida, nursing home didn't lose full power but Irma did knock out its air conditioning; temperatures climbed up to 106 degrees at the facility, leading to the deaths of eight patients.

Authorities on Saturday allowed local residents to drive to the checkpoint just before Marathon in the middle of the keys, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, which polices the Keys. Residents were advised to boil water before drinking.

Among the state's public utilities, Florida Power & Light, owned by NextEra Energy Inc (NEE.N) and the state's biggest electric company, reported about 1.1 million customers had no power.

- Today, Governor Rick Scott made it clear that while power restoration crews have been working around the clock across the state, Florida's top priority continues to be restoring power for 100 percent of homes and businesses. The deaths at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills were believed to be heat-related.

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The governor's emergency action will also require State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis to conduct inspections of the generators at the nursing homes within 15 days of their installation. The goal is to ensure such facilities can operate for at least 96 hours after an outage.

A second call came an hour later - but by the third call for help, the facility raised eyebrows that the situation may become deadlier and deadlier as temperatures increased and the nursing home was left without adequate air conditioning.

"Every facility that is charged with caring for patients must take every action and precaution to keep their patients safe - especially patients that are in poor health", Scott said.

Scott on Saturday blamed the nursing home for what he described as its failure to protect life.

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