SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Assisted living facilities like Alderman Oaks in Sarasota are hoping for the best with Hurricane Dorian but preparing for the worst.
“Start getting supplies and making sure we have meds, we just ordered a big delivery of extra water for tomorrow and we have a generator in place here, we’re ready to go with that,” said Rusty Blix, Founder of Alderman Oaks.
Blix says their large generator can give them backup power for weeks. They also have a large supply of food in storage and will decide if they need to put up any hurricane shutters on parts of their building. The 70 residents at the facility continue to enjoy their everyday activities but everyone is keeping a very close eye on this massive storm.
“We all feel very safe they take good care of us, if you have a problem, somebody solves it,” says Betty O’Neill-Geyer, a resident of Alderman Oaks.
New emergency power rules were signed into law in Florida that requires elder care facilities to have back up generators in case they lose power. This following the deaths of a dozen patients at a Rehabilitation Center in Broward County during Hurricane Irma in 2017. These facilities also submit their hurricane plans to the county’s emergency operations center to make sure they are in compliance. Blix tells us it took a lot of effort to bring his facility into compliance.
“We spent a lot of money and in fact the whole process was very expensive to us because it took so much concentration for almost a year to do this,” said Blix.