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The Florida Department of Health, in coordination county emergency management agencies, maintains a statewide registry for residents who will need assistance getting to a shelter or managing their medical needs in a shelter during a disaster.  The statewide Special Needs Registry provides local emergency management planners with valuable information to prepare for evacuations and mass care operations.  Providing as much information as possible will allow emergency management officials to plan accordingly for future disasters.  FDOH requires individuals to update their registry information annually, prior to the start of hurricane season (June 1st).

Who should register?

  1. Residents who do not have personal transportation and would not be able to get to a public emergency shelter when an evacuation is ordered.  

  2. Residents who plan to go to an emergency shelter when an evacuation is ordered but require assistance for their impairments or disabilities that exceeds what is available at a general population shelter.  Persons who are medically stable but need help with basic tasks, get support from daily home-health care, or use medical equipment that requires electricity (e.g., an oxygen concentrator), and their caregivers can register for space in a Special Medical Needs Shelter.

Register Now button linking to the Florida Special Needs Registry.

What to Know about Shelters and Mass Care

  • There is no privacy in any emergency shelter.  Space may be limited and cots are not guaranteed.  Food and water will be available but emergency shelters cannot accommodate special dietary needs.  Residents' first choice during an evacuation should be to stay with a friend or loved one outside of the evacuation area.  

  • Evacuees must take all of their own supplies with them to the shelter, including medications, equipment, blankets, pillows, changes of clothes, and personal hygiene items.  Nassau's shelters are "pet-friendly" but each pet will need proof of a current Rabies Vaccination, its own food, bowls, and a secure crate.  Cats will also need their own litterboxes.  

  • Special Medical Needs Shelters are intended to provide, to the extent possible under emergency conditions, an environment that can sustain an individual's level of health.  Shelter staff can only offer basic medical support and monitoring.  Complex medical care is not available in any shelter.​  Back-up electricity will be available for medical equipment. 

Preparedness Tip - Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit

  • Assemble an emergency supply "go-kit" in a duffle bag or backpack; label it with your name and phone number.  Store the supply kit in a place that is dry and easily accessible.  Medications and medical equipment, batteries, and power cords need to go into the supply kit before you go.  

  • Compile a list of friends or family who can be contacted during an evacuation; include the name and phone number of a primary medical provider as well as the names and doses of all medications.  Store those lists, and copies of important documents in the emergency go-kit.  (Put paper lists in a Ziploc bag or make electronic copies of lists and documents - use a cellphone to take photos of them or save them to a thumb-drive kept in the emergency kit.  For insurance purposes, take photos inside and outside the home before any damage occurs and save those electronically, too.)

  • In case you have to shelter-in-place without power for an extended period, stock up on non-perishable foods and enough drinking water (one gallon per person per day) to sustain everyone in the household (pets, too) for five days.  Don't forget a manual can opener, extra paper towels, and disinfectant wipes.  Click HERE for a checklist of supplies to consider adding to an emergency supply kit.

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