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Health News Florida

Nelson, Rubio Want Panel On Seniors And Disasters

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Matthew Peddie/WMFE
/
WMFE
Florida Sen. Bill Nelson is co-sponsoring a bill with fellow Florida senator Marco Rubio and others to create a national panel to address the needs of senior citizens during disasters.

With the deaths of nine residents of a Broward County nursing home after Hurricane Irma, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., want to create a national panel that would look at meeting the needs of seniors during disasters.

With Rubio, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., as co-sponsors, Nelson filed a bill Tuesday that would create the National Advisory Committee on Seniors and Disasters, according to Nelson's office. As an example, the panel would provide input about the medical needs of seniors in preparation and response to disasters. The deaths of eight residents of The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills last week came after Hurricane Irma knocked out the facility's air-conditioning system.

“What happened in Hollywood is inexcusable,” Nelson said in a prepared statement Tuesday. “This bill will require the head of HHS (the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) to appoint a panel of experts to provide our state and local leaders with the guidance they need to make sure such a tragedy never happens again.”