FL Gov. Rick Scott issues nursing home mandate

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FLORIDA -- (WTVY) They've come here from every corner of the state. Nursing home directors know they have a big new challenge on their hands: overcoming questions about whether their hurricane plans are good enough.
"We were told, well, we need to wait until the EOC gives us direction. That was a little confusing to me."
At a emergency preparedness summit, they took issue with complaints by Governor Rick Scott's administration.
The staff at that south Florida nursing home that lost air conditioning didn't adequately notify state officials.
Calls were made, two of them to the Governor's own cellphone, but an evacuation didn't happen until seniors were found dead.
Other nursing home directors here say the state's response to their pleas was far from satisfactory.
As for the Governor's order that every nursing home in Florida have a generator in place by early November, engineers who spoke here say that deadline isn't realistic.
They say it can take 1 and 2 years to order, certify and install any heavy-duty generator worth its name.
"I'm going to cobble together a fuel tank, a generator and all these different pieces, and it's not going to be a working, fluid system that's going to give you twenty or thirty years of reliability. Storm season ends in a month or so. I've got 'til June of next year to probably get this process taken care of in a much more efficient way."
Another focus is the potential for increased nursing home regulation.
Bills are being filed to reverse years of a relatively hands-off approach by the state.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is helping investigate what led to the nursing home deaths.
And a state house select committee's being formed to look into the matter, too.

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