Florida's governor has signed legislation that requires emergency generators to be on standby at every nursing home and assisted living facility (ALFs) in the US state.
Governor Rick Scott had directed the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) and the Florida Department of Elder Affairs to draw up the new regulations after power outages last year led to the deaths of a number of residents in care.
A dozen residents of one centre died after being overcome by high temperatures when the facility lost power to its air conditioning systems during hurricane Irma.
Scott said: “We fought aggressively to quickly implement this life-saving rule at facilities across the state and I am proud to sign legislation that makes this rule permanent. Florida is one of the first states in the nation to require emergency generators at nursing homes and ALFs.”
AHCA secretary Justin Senior said the agency can now "move forward with implementing this emergency power plan rule to ensure that nursing homes and assisted living facilities are prepared for the start of the upcoming hurricane season".