Residential Care Disaster Readiness Bill Moves Forward

Residential care facilities for the elderly are a largely unregulated in California. Despite the fact that they house more than 100,000 Californians, many with limited mobility, there is currently no requirement that they maintain disaster readiness plan other than a one-page disaster plan. That soon may change.

Last week the California State Senate voted to support a bill promoted by Assemblywoman Lois Wolk that would require care facilities for the elderly to prepare for emergencies such as natural disasters or power outages. Wolk’s bill requires a comprehensive plan for emergencies that enables a facility to be totally self-reliant for at least 72 hours. It would also require that the disaster plan be available for viewing by residents and local fire and police.

The bill, labeled AB 749, will be heard by the appropriations committee before debate on the assembly floor.