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Florida Emergency Order – Generators Required for all Nursing Homes

Joesph SappByJoseph G. Sapp, LL.M.

In the wake of hurricane Irma, Governor Rick Scott passed an emergency order requiring AHCA and the Department of Elder Affairs to issue rules regulating nursing home emergency power plans. Effective November 16, 2017, all Florida nursing homes are required to acquire sufficient generators to ensure ambient temperatures will be maintained at eighty (80) degrees or less for a period of a minimum of ninety-six (96) hours in the event of the loss of electrical power.[1] That means Florida nursing homes are required to have sufficient generators and fuel on hand to power the facility for a period of four (4) days.

Furthermore, the nursing homes must have their emergency plan approved with their local county emergency management agency. Once the plan is approved, nursing homes have a forty-eight (48) hour window to report the approval to the Department of Elder Affairs and AHCA. Within fifteen (15) days, the State Fire Marshal will inspect the generators installation. Penalties for failure to meet this requirement range from one-thousand dollars ($1,000.00) per day, or possible revocation. Given these hefty financial burden nursing home owners face, it is important that a timely exemption is filed showing burden and substantial compliance with the new rules.

Chapman Law Group has experienced attorneys that routinely deal with assisted living facilities and AHCA. If you have an assisted living facility that is facing similar financial burdens given the new requirements, contact Chapman Law Group immediately to establish your emergency action plan, substantial compliance, or exemption from the same.

[1] 59AER17-1, F.A.C.