Hurricane Preparedness for Assisted Living Communities
In 2018, while serving as the Governor of Florida, Rick Scott implemented new regulations regarding hurricane preparedness for assisted living communities throughout the state. The regulations required all communities to have a backup generator and a detailed Evacuation and Emergency Plan (EPP) in place. Scott put the new rules in place after 12 residents at the Hollywood Hills Rehabilitation Center in Broward County perished from heat exposure following Hurricane Irma in September of 2017. The residents’ deaths raised serious questions of whether emergency preparedness measures were adequate in senior care facilities throughout Florida.
After Hurricane Harvey struck Texas and Louisiana in 2017, stricter federal emergency planning requirements were put in place. However, because nursing homes and assisted living communities are primarily under state regulation, the newly-implemented federal guidelines were not sufficiently adopted by all senior care facilities in the U.S.
We feel it’s important for everyone to know that Grand Oaks of Jensen Beach, as well as all communities owned and operated by the Visiting Nurse Association of Florida (VNA), meet or exceed both state and federal standards regarding emergency action plans and hurricane preparedness. Our community has both a backup generator and EEP that has been approved by our respective county. All necessary paperwork documenting our compliance with state regulations has been sent to the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration.
We take the health and safety of our residents very seriously. Because we understand the importance of hurricane preparedness for assisted living communities, we have implemented the following safety measures in addition to an emergency backup generator and EEP:
- Solid, CBS construction
- 100% hurricane-proof impact windows
- Emergency call systems in each room
- Located outside a flood zone
Having an EEP in place during a disaster or power outage is key to maintaining the safety and well-being of our residents. If you or a loved one resides in an assisted living community, be sure to ask if they have an EEP and a backup generator in the event of a natural disaster or power outage. It’s also important that the community is compliant with the safety regulations that were implemented following the 2017-2018 hurricane season.
For more information or to schedule a tour of Grand Oaks of Jensen Beach, call 772-209-3119 today.