LTC providers concerned about failed facility emergency planning as another hurricane ravages Florida

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Evacuation strategies failed and help did not show up quickly enough for some long-term care facilities left in the wake of Hurricane Charley, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports.

Facilities determine their own emergency policies without state health authorities' approval, according to the article.

While some administrators had firm plans in place, others struggled with the decision to evacuate, as the force of the hurricane did not become evident until it was too late, according to the newspaper. The 600 residents in homes that waited were left without air conditioning, electricity and water. Many places did not have enough generated power to provide adequate shelter until the long-awaited help arrived, and residents became ill. Hotel and bus arrangements fell through, as well, as Floridians throughout the coast raced inland.

Corporation-owned facilities fared better than privately owned homes as nearby sister facilities provided extra manpower and supplies. Administrators relying on state officials who had promised to ensure private contractors brought help were often disappointed.

The article calls for facilities to examine their strategies and the state to examine its oversight role.

Hurricane Frances was poised to hit Florida on Wednesday, which would be the worst double-hurricane strike in one state in at least a century.