Gadsden County, Florida

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Procedures Regarding Emergency Environmental Control for Assisted Living Facilities

RULE NO.: RULE TITLE: 58AER17-1 Procedures Regarding Emergency Environmental Control for Assisted Living Facilities


SPECIFIC REASONS FOR FINDING AN IMMEDIATE DANGER TO THE PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY OR WELFARE: The State has experienced extreme shortages of electrical power that have jeopardized, and continue to jeopardize, the health, safety and welfare of residents in Florida’s assisted living facilities. According to the United States Census Bureau, Florida has the largest percentage of residents age 65 and older in the nation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people age 65 years or older are more prone to heat-related health problems. An incompetent response by a nursing facility to a loss of air conditioning after Hurricane Irma resulted in the tragic loss of eight senior citizens at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills. Thousands of frail seniors reside in assisted living facilities in Florida. Ensuring assisted living facilities maintain sufficient resources to provide alternative power sources during emergency situations mitigates the concerns related to the health, safety and welfare of residents in those assisted living facilities that experience loss of electrical power. This emergency rule establishes a process by which assisted living facilities shall obtain sufficient equipment and resources to ensure that the ambient temperature of assisted living facilities will be maintained at or below 80 degrees Fahrenheit within the facilities for a minimum of ninety-six (96) hours in the event of the loss of electrical power. Prompt implementation of this rule is necessary to ensure continuity of care and to ensure the health, safety and welfare of residents of Florida’s assisted living facilities.



The procedure used to adopt this emergency rule is fair as the State of Florida is under a declaration of emergency due to the massive destruction caused by Hurricane Irma, and it is essential to ensure as soon as possible that temperatures in assisted living facilities are maintained at a level providing for the safety of the residents residing therein; provides at least the procedural protection given by other statutes, the State Constitution, or the United States Constitution; and takes only that action necessary to protect the public interest under the emergency procedure.

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