As residents across the Sunshine State board up their homes and businesses ahead of Hurricane Irma, the Florida Health Care Association (FHCA) is busy working the Alabama Nursing Home Association (ANHA) to coordinate accommodations for residents to ensure patients are safe during the powerful Category 4 storm.
The ANHA confirms to Alabama Today that they are providing bed availability and contact information for Florida nursing homes.
“The number of Florida nursing home residents evacuated to Alabama will depend on how many facilities choose to evacuate and where they choose to relocate,” said NHA spokesperson John Matson. “Florida nursing homes may choose to relocate to other states. Due to Hurricane Irma’s predicted path and the number of people living in Florida nursing homes, we expect Florida nursing home residents will be relocated across Alabama.”
Regardless of FHCA’s evacuation plan, with 229 nursing homes and a licensed bed capacity of 26,700, the ANHA, which represents 94% of Alabama nursing homes, stands ready to help.
Thus far mandatory evacuation orders cover parts of Miami-Dade County, Broward County east of US 1, Palm Beach County, low-lying parts of Brevard County, and Monroe County, home to the Florida Keys. Many expect that the mass exodus from South Florida could become one of the largest evacuations in US history.