Nursing Home Deaths in Florida Heighten Scrutiny of Disaster Planning

“It’s vague, but this event is going to highlight the need,” said Dr. David Marcozzi, an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and former director of a federal health care preparedness program. “Let me put it this way, if you were in Alaska and what was required to maintain safe temperatures was a heater, you wouldn’t say you don’t need the heater.”

“No one should freeze to death,” he added. “No one should have a heat injury.”

A criminal investigation was continuing Thursday into the deaths of the residents, who ranged in age from 71 to 99, in a nursing home lacking air-conditioning because of widespread power failures from Hurricane Irma. The center had asked the power company, Florida Power & Light, to restore electricity,…

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