2017 Florida hurricane season

Florida’s nursing home industry will hold a summit Friday in Tallahassee to discuss Gov. Rick Scott’s emergency rule requiring increased generator capacity to help nursing homes in a disaster, according to the Miami Herald.

Growing up in Miami, Luis Gazitúa lived through Hurricane Andrew in 1992 – one of the most destructive storms ever to hit South Florida. That’s why the Coconut Grove attorney recognized the awful danger of Hurricane Irma.

Irma was even bigger and stronger than Andrew. So when early forecast models this month showed it heading straight for Miami, Gazitúa and his family decided to evacuate South Florida.

“We had actually booked rooms in Orlando,” Gazitúa says at his law office in Coral Gables. “My father, my brother, our children and our wives and my mother.”

The nursing home where residents died following a hurricane-induced air conditioning outage was not on the priority list for power restoration, according to the facility's utility provider and Broward County officials.

Emergency responders confirmed eight deaths last Wednesday at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, three days after Hurricane Irma knocked out power to the facility's air conditioning system.

As Hurricane Irma bore down on South Florida, Kevin Youngman and his family sought shelter at Falcon Cove Middle School in Weston. There, he found himself in enemy territory.

“I think it’s weird for us because we all went to the rival middle school, Tequesta Trace,” said Youngman, 25, as he relaxed on an air mattress in the school gym.

When the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills submitted its 43-page emergency management plan to county administrators in July, it included details on how the home would maintain clean linen, distribute canned food and ensure residents had access to hand sanitizers.

It made no mention of how residents would be kept cool if the home’s power was lost.

That was a tragic oversight: On Wednesday, health regulators said, eight residents of the rehabilitation center succumbed to cardiac and respiratory failure after a portable air cooling system malfunctioned.

Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

Hurricane Irma has passed, and some Floridians impacted by the storm have to rebuild – not only their homes, but their lives.

When a natural disaster as unpredictable as Irma hits, the main concern is getting people to a safe place and making sure they have enough resources to manage through the storm. However, once the immediate danger has passed, the next step is to recover and move forward.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long says the government response to Hurricane Irma has shifted from saving lives to one of beginning the long recovery process.

Long said at a briefing Friday that good progress is being made in getting people back into their homes or into temporary housing such as apartments or hotels. About 10,000 people in Florida remain in emergency shelters.

No, that Facebook post telling you to take a picture of your empty fridge and send it along a form is not correct. Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) denied that it will reimburse Florida residents for food spoiled as result of power outages caused by Hurricane Irma. 

The power outages that followed hurricanes Harvey and Irma are unfortunately a common reality with powerful storms, just as is the fact that the affected people need to eat.

Hurricane diets can consist of a lot of processed, prepackaged food, but with a bit of imagination or preparation, hot meals are possible.

After Hurricane Irma hit Florida, Tara Gatscher and her family returned to their house in Tampa Bay to find that while the house didn't have any terrible damage, they didn't have power.

North Tampa Branch Library, HCPLC.org

Hillsborough County Libraries are providing assistance to residents affected by Hurricane Irma. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's Administrator was at the Lee County Emergency Operations Center Wednesday. 


Hurricane Irma’s state-engulfing radar signature and widespread damage will be a hard image to shake, but tourism experts say Florida’s biggest industry will rebound.

Carbon monoxide poisoning from generators has reportedly killed five Floridians in the wake of Irma. Here are some ways to prevent exposure to the potentially deadly gas.

The aftermath of Hurricane Harvey on Texas may be impacting Irma victims in Florida trying to register for federal assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 

Dozens Of Nursing Homes Still Lack Power

Sep 15, 2017

Dozens of nursing homes continued Thursday to lack electricity or had been evacuated because of Hurricane Irma, as the state grappled with the deaths of eight residents of a Broward County facility that did not have air conditioning.

It’s the middle of the day in Deland, a city between Orlando and Daytona Beach. Temperatures today are in the 90s.

Days after Hurricane Irma battered South Florida, Rufus James walked through his Liberty City neighborhood in Miami looking for paid work to chop down trees and clean up yards.

Like many Floridians, James, 57, was going on day four with no electricity. At home, he had three grandchildren to feed. They’re eating “cornflakes and whatever we can come up with. I’m looking for some food,” he said.

Before the storm, James said he worked odd jobs — helping elderly neighbors mow their lawns or move heavy items. Post storm, no one was paying for help yet.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Tampa Bay area residents witnessed an unusual sight ahead of Hurricane Irma’s arrival Sunday.

In a case of a kind of reverse storm surge, Hillsborough Bay at Bayshore Boulevard was one of many places in Florida that experienced temporary lowered water levels in the hours leading up to the hurricane.

Robin Sussingham / WUSF Public Media

Hurricane Irma has left the state. Now, the cleanup begins. From downed tree limbs to damaged household items like appliances and furniture. Every city and county has its own guidelines for pick-up.

Debris collection, rescheduled trash pickup and guidelines on how to handle the debris are listed below. Be sure to check what your service provider or local government requires.

Gov. Rick Scott visited the Florida Power & Light staging area at Southwest Florida International Airport on Tuesday. He also visited flooded areas of Southwest Florida.

Utility trucks, prepping to restore power to the region were lined up far into the horizon. Scott briefly spoke to reporters about the power situation in the area. 

"I've been to shelters. I know everyone wants their power back," said Scott. "It's the biggest thing we can do right now, but we gotta be safe about it." 

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