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Emergency Power Not Requirement For Assisted Living Homes

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ORANGE COUNTY, N.C. — After last month's ice storm knocked out power for millions of North Carolina residents, state officials are debating whether to require assisted-living homes to have emergency generators.

Melva Miller said she knows about cold weather. When the independent living center she is in lost power last month, her apartment was like ice.

"I had four layers of clothes on my body and I went to bed and I had four layers of clothes on the covers," she said. "It was a very uncomfortable period of three days."

The state does not require independent or assisted-living homes to provide emergency power. Officials said if the state required them to have generators, it may cost up to $75,000 per home.

"It's a very expensive proposition, but in some cases, it's probably a good idea to have them," said Lynda McDaniel, of Long-Term Care and Family Services.

"Well, I think the emphasis should not be on the dollar bill. I think it should be protection for the people," Miller said.

After Hurricane Fran, state officials considered the issue, but they opted not to require the homes to have generators.

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