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South Florida Nursing Homes Prep For Tropical Storm During COVID-19

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

The weather doesn’t care that there’s a pandemic. A tropical storm is forecast to possibly affect South Florida over the weekend.

How are nursing homes and their vulnerable population preparing for storms during the COVID-19 outbreak?

Kristen Knapp is the director of communications at the Florida Health Care Association. She says providers go through a process to gear-up for hurricane season.

“They have a comprehensive emergency management plan that outlines the various steps they take to keep the residents safe, to make sure their facility is prepared, make sure their staff are properly trained. So that’s something that they do on an ongoing basis throughout the year,” Knapp says.

But Margarette Nerette, a union leader with SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, says caregivers aren’t prepared.

“… What we’re dealing with right now is too much. If something else comes up, like the hurricane … we’re in big, big, big, big trouble,” Nerette says.

Right now, she’s hoping for the best – for the sake of nursing home patients and caregivers.

“We hope hurricanes stay away from Florida. We don’t think we have capacity to endure anything else right now,” Nerette says.

Hurricane season ends Nov. 30.