Elder care facilities in Sarasota and Manatee County preparing for hurricane season

Updated: Apr. 24, 2019 at 10:38 PM EDT
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SARASOTA (WWSB) - “The most important part of any procedure is to work your plan and to adhere to that plan,” said Paul Hartman.

Hartman is the Vice President of Plant Operations at Pines of Sarasota; it’s a campus that features 204 nursing home beds and 39 assisted living units.

“We’ve made a concerted effort to have a very strong plan for our residents so that we know way ahead of time what we’re going to do and we execute our plan carefully each year,” said Hartman.

Their hurricane plan has many elements including topping off all their generators with fuel and testing them all year long, lubricating all the shutter runners as well as testing them, being stocked up on their food and water supplies and medications. In addition, their newer buildings have impact resistant glass. All this helps them operate normally in the event of a major storm.

According to Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, currently 113 of 115 elder care facilities in Sarasota County are in compliance while 53 of 55 are in compliance in Manatee County.

“They all have a responsibility and need to have a plan to protect their residents, their clients, the patients," said Ed McCrane, Emergency Management Chief for Sarasota County. "But the county stands ready to support them if something fails in their plan.”

Facilities that aren’t compliant face fines. New emergency power rules were signed into law last March following the deaths of a dozen patients after Hurricane Irma knocked out air conditioning at a Rehabilitation Center in Broward County.

Nursing homes in Florida submit their hurricane plan to their county’s Emergency Operations Center to get the compliance status.

Hurricane season officially kicks off on June 1st.

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