NEW ORLEANS -- With the power out for days, residents at several elderly and special needs facilities in the New Orleans area suffered through miserable conditions during Hurricane Isaac.
Thursday, the City Council took a step toward tackling the problem.
Council members passed a resolution, which calls on state lawmakers hammer out a new law that would require facility owners to install generators.
"I'm not talking about gas-run generators, which could be a problem in itself. I'm talking about a generator that kicks on when the electricity goes out," said District D Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell. "Elderly are the most susceptible to heat, and so I think it's a simple thing, but it's something that we should maybe put in regulation and not leave for interpretation."
Brad Robinson, whose wife is an administrator at one facility, urged the council to pack as many protective steps into their proposal as possible.
"I hope that y'all do some in-depth research and encompass the air conditioning facilities and so on and so forth for the elderly, and incorporate the entire facility," Robinson said.
The council’s proposal would give facility owners tax credits to install the generators.
Hedge-Morrell said she will work with members of the New Orleans delegation to draw up a full measure for next year’s legislative session, in an effort to ensure what unfolded less than a month ago won't happen again.
When power outages continue over a number of days, Hedge-Morrell said the situation becomes extremely dangerous for the elderly and others.
"It could be life or death," she said.