HEMPSTEAD VILLAGE - Officials want to require buildings that house senior citizens and disabled people to have backup generators so residents aren't stranded during power outages.
Ronald Reed, a resident at a senior apartment complex at 400 Fulton Ave. in Hempstead, says he's been stranded in his ninth-floor apartment several times.
"It can be terrifying," Reed says. "You don't know what to do. There is nobody to depend on."
Nassau County Legislator Siela Bynoe says problems at the Hempstead complex prompted her to introduce legislation that would require landlords to install backup generators to run elevators and emergency lighting. The rules would affect anyone who owns a multidwelling building designated for seniors or disabled residents.
"This bill is intended to protect the safety and the welfare of our most vulnerable community members, especially in times of prolonged power outages," Bynoe says.
Bynoe says that in Hempstead Village alone, there are hundreds of residents living in apartment buildings without backup generators. She says she hopes to pass the bill by this summer and begin requiring generators, which could cost as much as $150,000, by next year.
The owner of 400 Fulton Ave. declined to comment for this story.