Hurricane Dorian Strengthens; Are South Florida's Nursing Homes Prepared To Lose Power?

Aug 30, 2019

Hurricane Dorian has been getting stronger, slowing down, and it’s predicted path has been drifting, putting central, and potentially south Florida, increasingly at risk. 

The 5 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center shows Hurricane Dorian has curved slightly north. The hurricane has strengthened into a Category 3 storm. It’s expected to bring lots of rain and storm surge, in addition to the wind. 

As the storm has slowed down, it will come ashore after the King Tide. How important is that in determining the storm surge, especially given the warm ocean waters fueling the hurricane?

The South Florida Water Management District is advising people to make sure drains near your home are clear.

"Outside of your homes there are a series of canals and ditches - that should be cleared,” Executive director Drew Bartlett said. “If you see debris or something in those drains go ahead and move them out so water can flow away."

Also, the storm comes the same week prosecutors announced charges against four people for the deaths of 12 nursing home patients in the days after Hurricane Irma. They died when their nursing home lost electricity. 

In the aftermath of those deaths, the state of Florida enacted a law requiring nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have generators on hand. However, many facilities have been granted time extensions to comply with the new cooling requirements.

WLRN’s Tom Hudson discussed how prepared the nursing home industry is for Hurricane Dorian with Plaza Health Network President and CEO, Elaine Bloom, on The South Florida Roundup.

 

HUDSON: Elaine,You know the regulatory process very, very well. As you reflect back here on this, was this regulation ill advised given the problems implementing it?

BLOOM: No. I think it was done with the with the goodness of heart that the legislature wanted to ensure that we provide even extra beneficial care to our patients and residents…And it's not been easy to get everybody all together aside from getting all the all the paperwork that you need and the approvals.