Special Needs Shelters
Health Department Role. The Department coordinates the recruitment of health care practitioners to staff special needs shelters in times of emergency.
Agencies and organizations in the community have the responsibility to the special needs population and should have input into the design, activation, operation and deactivation of the Special Needs Shelter. These organizations include the Marion County Emergency Management Division, Emergency Medical Services, the American Red Cross, home health care agencies, hospice organizations, extended care living facilities, oxygen and durable medical equipment providers and others.
Who Can Use Special Needs Shelters? Special Needs Program is for residents with specific health and medical conditions and those requiring transportation assistance. The program helps to provide assistance in sheltering, evacuation, and transportation for registered residents during times of disasters with the resources available within Marion County.
Special Needs Shelter Registry. The registry is a confidential listing of those needing assistance and is updated on an annual basis through contact with the registered residents. Residents with medical needs such as nebulizers, oxygen, feeding tubes, or Alzheimer’s disease are examples of medical criteria that are eligible for the registry.
Before you register, discuss your medical condition with your physician and determine what essential needs you will require.
If you need transportation or require special care, and have no other alternative, register with the SpNS Program of the Emergency Management Division by calling your local Marion County Emergency Operations Center.
Items to Bring to the Shelter:
- Personal and medical information
- Daily prescription/ non-prescription medication for at least 3 days
- Special items such as hearing aids, eyeglasses, oxygen, or special dietary food
- At least two changes of clothing, including a warm jacket or sweater
- Blanket, pillow, folding chair, cot
- Personal hygiene items such as towel, washcloth, toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, soap, diapers
For more information about how to register for special needs shelters and hurricane preparedness, visit the Marion County Special Needs Programs page.