PINELLAS PARK, Fla. — Magnolia Gardens Assisted Living Community in Pinellas Park is now in compliance with a 2017 law that requires all nursing homes in Florida to have generators. 

The Pinellas County Housing Authority and Duke Energy unveiled the new generator Thursday at the nursing home. 

  • Executive order requires all nursing homes to have generators
  • Magnolia Gardens Assisted Living now has one
  • Residents able to get care they need during a storm

The 500-kilowatt natural gas generator is a critical piece of equipment for the nursing home, as it only takes one big storm to knock out power for days. 

In 2017, a dozen residents at a Broward County Care Facility died from heat-related illnesses after they were left without air conditioning for days.  Former Governor Rick Scott signed an executive order that requires all nursing homes to have generators and backup fuel to last for four days. 

"After a significant storm passed through an area, we work very closely with our county EOC's [Emergency Operation Center] to prioritize restoration so we can get our services back up and running as quickly and safely as possible. And it is helpful when these services have backup generation as well," Peveeta Persaud with Duke Energy said.

The generator at Magnolia Gardens is maintained by Duke Energy and can handle winds of 180 miles per hour. 

Hurricane season is almost half-way through, but most of the activity happens between now and the end of October. The peak of the season is in early-to-mid September.