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Hurricane Irma

A program to distribute federal disaster aid to Florida farmers hit by Hurricane Irma will be set up within the next 100 days, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Friday.

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Pressure is growing from Florida and other states as the U.S. Department of Agriculture continues to determine how to move forward with a disaster-relief package President Donald Trump signed in early February.

More than six months after residents of a Broward County nursing home died following Hurricane Irma, Gov. Rick Scott on Monday signed two bills that nail down requirements for nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to have backup generators and fuel supplies.

The bills (HB 7099 and SB 7028), passed this month by the Legislature, ratified rules issued by the Scott administration. The ratified rules replaced emergency rules issued in September following the deaths of residents of The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills.

State Seeks To Block Nursing Home Records Request

Mar 15, 2018

The Florida Department of Health this week asked a circuit judge to dismiss a public-records lawsuit filed by a Broward County nursing home where residents died after Hurricane Irma.

The death toll from Hurricane Irma's catastrophic rampage across the Caribbean and the southeastern U.S. has risen to 44 fatalities directly caused by its strong winds and heavy rains, plus 85 fatalities indirectly linked to the storm, according to a report released Monday by the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities will be required to have generators and 72 hours of fuel after the Legislature agreed to ratify a pair of proposed rules sought by Gov. Rick Scott.

Yuisa Rios / FEMA

Puerto Rican veterans will be reuniting for the first time in 30 years Saturday, and they’ll be raising awareness about the current situation on the island.

For most of the veterans, this will be the first time seeing each other since they were stationed at Naval Station Roosevelt Roads in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, in the 1980s and 1990s.

Federal disaster officials are ending a program that paid for hotel rooms for more than 27,000 Florida households in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Lawmakers Sign Off On Nursing Home Generators

Mar 6, 2018

Nursing homes will be required to have generators and 72-hour fuel supplies onsite by July 1, under a rule issued by Gov. Rick Scott’s administration and approved Monday by the Legislature.

Fate Of Generator Rules Remains Unclear

Feb 26, 2018

With only two weeks left in the 2018 legislative session, proposed rules requiring generators for long-term care providers continue to await action, in part because of the financial impact on assisted living facilities. 

The superintendent of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary says that after efforts to help the coral reef recover from Hurricane Irma, challenges loom for the marine ecosystem.

House Eyes Plan For Health Care During Hurricanes

Feb 16, 2018

During the next major storm, Florida may turn to university faculty and even students enrolled in health-care programs to help work with some of the state’s most vulnerable residents. 

It’s been nearly five months since Hurricane Irma hit Florida. This week and next, an economic recovery workshop is traveling across the state, seeing what counties and small businesses need to help them bounce back and how to better handle the next disaster.


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Florida will get a one-time boost in tax money as residents across the state slowly rebuild from the devastation of Hurricane Irma.

Courtesy Florida Forest Service

Forestry officials say a suspected serial arsonist may be behind dozens of wildfires in Sarasota and Charlotte counties.

Hurricane victims don’t have to repair their homes or find new places to live alone. Hurricane Irma survivors in Florida who are getting FEMA help have many federal and state resources available to further support their recovery.

Florida Governor Rick Scott is directing the Transportation Department to implement new hurricane-evacuation and fuel-supply plans, including increasing emergency gas storage.


House Eyes Tax Help For Agriculture Industry

Feb 1, 2018

Florida’s Hurricane Irma-battered agriculture industry, growing anxious as it awaits federal disaster relief, could land some help from the state House as part of a tax-cut package.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

Larry Black's family has grown oranges at the Peace River Packing Company for five generations.

 Driving through his groves in Fort Meade, Black points out all of the trees that are infected with the disease known as greening. 

The state’s lawmakers are hard at work in Tallahassee as the 2018 legislative session continues. This week on the latest edition of our monthly Florida Matters news roundtable series we’re talking about some of their priorities and how they could affect residents.


Nursing Home Generator Battles End After Changes

Jan 24, 2018

Four months of legal wrangling over requirements that nursing homes and assisted-living facilities install backup generators and have 96 hours of fuel on site came to an end Tuesday.

For Geancarlo Rodriguez, Hurricane Irma was a little bit like summer.

Rodriguez has worked as a clerical assistant at Hialeah Gardens High School for nine years, answering phones and greeting visitors for about 25 hours a week. But when his school closed for seven days because of the September storm, he didn’t get paid.

Florida Forest Service

The Florida Forest Service is warning that wildfires could be more severe as a result of Hurricane Irma.

The Florida House is rolling out dozens of recommendations on the state’s hurricane response efforts. Equipping emergency shelters and preparing healthcare facilities top the list.

State agencies spent $680.2 million after Hurricane Irma, with county government costs exceeding $1 billion, according to a draft of a report by the House Select Committee on Hurricane Response and Preparedness.

As Hurricane Irma bore down on Florida, Gov. Rick Scott gave out his cellphone number during a conference call with administrators of the state's nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Kev Cook / Flickr

With three strong hurricanes, wildfires, hail, flooding, tornadoes and drought, the United States tallied a record high bill last year for weather disasters: $306 billion.

FPL Delays Plan To Recoup Irma Costs

Jan 4, 2018

After saying in October it expected to collect an estimated $1.3 billion, Florida Power & Light has put on hold a plan to bill customers for the costs of restoring electricity after Hurricane Irma.

Staff Sgt. Carmen Fleischmann / Florida Army National Guard

Just like 2004 and 2005 – Florida will remember 2017 as the year of hurricanes especially Hurricane Irma. It was a year that the Florida National Guard learned some new lessons in disaster response.

Florida activated its National Guard troops days before Hurricane Irma made landfall on Sept. 10 in the Florida Keys.

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Florida regulators say temperatures rose to 99 degrees in a sweltering nursing home under investigation for the deaths of 12 residents after Hurricane Irma.

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