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Senate committee examines disaster planning for seniors

September 17, 2017
by Nicole Stempak, Senior Editor
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The Senate Aging Committee will meet for a hearing Wednesday morning to examine protocols for long-term care facilities on evacuating, relocating and sheltering in place.

The committee scheduled the meeting to review lessons learned and ways to improve following news that eight seniors died in a South Florida nursing home that experienced a prolonged power outage.

“As we have learned from Hurricanes Irma and Harvey as well as past catastrophes such as Hurricane Katrina, some of our neighbors — especially seniors — face many obstacles during a crisis, and we must focus on the attention older adults may need,” said Senators Susan Collins and Bob Casey, Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Aging Committee in a joint press release. “This hearing, which will be held during National Preparedness Month, will help improve preparedness and response efforts so that the next time disaster strikes, tragedies like the one that occurred at the nursing home in Hollywood, Florida, may be avoided.”

Reports during and after the storm highlighted the vulnerability of seniors and individuals with disabilities, difficulties and added considerations to keeping them safe. A report from the National Institutes of Health found that more than half of those who died from Hurricane Katrina were seniors.

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