A year after Florida’s nursing home and assisted living facility generator requirements were signed into law by Governor Rick Scott, many facilities impacted by the new rules are still questioning what exactly is required.
Here are six things you should know about complying with the new generator laws and keeping residents safe during emergencies.
1. How You Cool is Up to You
Florida’s emergency generator laws require that nursing homes and assisted living facilities have backup power. The rules do not require a specific type of cooling. Some facilities may opt to power the entire HVAC system while others create an emergency-specific cooling solution.
2. Protecting Equipment is Essential
Your emergency power source is no good if it’s underwater. Protecting your generator from storm surge and inclement weather is what keeps your facility in compliance during a tropical storm or hurricane.
3. Assisted Living Facilities Should Consider Fuel
ALFs under 17 beds are only required to store 48 hours’ worth of fuel. However, in many areas, these facilities are not prioritized for power restoration like nursing homes. Consider how long your facility could be without power when planning your backup generator solution.
4. Backup Power Requires Regular Testing
Load testing your generator to mimic emergency conditions is important. You need to ensure your backup power will meet Florida’s generator requirements and protect residents in case of a hurricane.
5. Local Rules Could Change Your Plans
Some local governments are adding requirements to Florida’s generator law. However, the Florida Health Care Association is trying to eliminate these additional requirements. Kristen Knapp, Florida Health Care Association director of communications, told WMFE that the organization believes “it’s very confusing and conflicting for local providers.”
6. Compliance will be Expensive
It will cost Florida’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities $365 million over the next five years to meet the guidelines put in place by the generator law.