Florida governor issues emergency rules for nursing homes after hurricane deaths

Florida governor issues emergency rules for nursing homes after hurricane deaths
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Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) on Saturday announced that he was directing all nursing homes in the state to purchase generators for use during power outages after eight people died at a nursing home following Hurricane Irma.

Scott said that he was "outraged" over the deaths of the nursing home residents during a power outage caused by the hurricane, according to a press statement provided by ABC News.

"I am outraged over the deaths of eight Floridians at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills in Broward County and I am demanding answers as we furiously investigate this terrible loss of life," Scott wrote.

"During emergencies, health care facilities must be fully prepared to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of those in their care and there is absolutely no excuse not to protect life," Scott added.

The emergency rules instruct Florida elder care facilities to purchase "ample resources, including a generator and the appropriate amount of fuel, to sustain operations and maintain comfortable temperatures for at least 96-hours following a power outage."

It also calls for those generators to be inspected by the state fire marshall, and for care facilities to develop emergency response plans that are approved by local officials.

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Scott said that he will "stop at nothing" to ensure that Floridians are kept safe during disaster situations.

"We must absolutely make sure there are laws in place to keep all vulnerable Floridians safe," the governor wrote. "I will stop at nothing to protect Floridians.”

More than 100 people were evacuated from Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills in Hollywood, Florida, earlier this week. Rescue workers found three residents dead, and five more died later. Authorities said the deaths were likely heat-related.

Scott called the deaths "unfathomable," and vowed to investigate the incident.

"Although the details of these reported deaths are still under investigation, this situation is unfathomable," Scott said, adding that his office will "aggressively demand answers on how this tragic event took place."