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Sat Sep 16, 2017, 03:08 AM

VA to make beds available to non-veterans in hurricane's aftermath

http://www.militarytimes.com/veterans/2017/09/15/va-to-make-beds-available-to-non-veterans-in-hurricanes-aftermath/

VA to make beds available to non-veterans in hurricane's aftermath

By: Leo Shane III    17 hours ago

WASHINGTON — Department of Veterans Affairs nursing homes will open their doors to non-veterans in an effort to help house some of the thousands of Florida residents displaced by Hurricane Irma last week. “All Americans are pulling together to help one another, and we must make a special effort for those most vulnerable to the conditions brought on by the storm,” VA Secretary David Shulkin said in a statement Thursday.

The storm, which forced tens of thousands of state residents to evacuate, caused widespread damage through southern Florida. State officials estimate more than 2 million people are still without power, and temperatures across many counties are expected to approach 90 degrees today.

VA officials said under federal rules, the department can make its facilities available to non-veterans in cases of national, state and local emergencies. The department manages eight assisted-living facilities in the state with nearly 1,000 beds, and several more in neighboring states. VA leaders said unused beds will be made available through local emergency response authorities, “while ensuring VA continues its primary mission of providing healthcare to veterans.”

Department officials are also working with Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency on other hurricane response efforts.
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As the hurricane approached Florida, VA officials announced that all veterans displaced by evacuations could receive health care or support services at any department facility throughout the nation. Veterans can inquire about additional assistance through the department’s disaster hotline, 1-800-507-4571.
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