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SPECIAL NEEDS PROGRAM

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SPECIAL NEEDS SHELTERSPET SHELTERS | EMERGENCY SHELTERS
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ONLINE FLORIDA SPECIAL NEEDS REGISTRY APPLICATION

   

SPECIAL NEEDS SHELTER


ABOUT THE PROGRAM
Hendry and Glades
County residents with qualifying special/medical needs are encouraged to apply for registration as a Special Needs person. A Special Needs Shelter (SpNS) is for "someone who during periods of evacuation or emergency, requires sheltering assistance, due to physical impairment, mental impairment, cognitive impairment or sensory disabilities.” Chapter 64-3, Florida Administrative Code The Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Preparedness and Response administers a statewide Special Needs Shelter Program to assist County Health Departments in addressing the special medical needs of people in their community. It is important to apply in advance for this program so, if qualified, you will be on the county’s registry for sheltering at a Special Needs Evacuation Shelter during a disaster. Pre-registration helps us to help you when time is limited.
 

Eligibility for Special Needs Shelters

  • People with special medical needs

  • People whose care exceeds the basic first aid provided at general population shelters

  • People with impairments or disabilities who are medically stable and do not require medical care

  • People with disabilities are not required to go to a Special Needs Shelter. Some people with disabilities can be safely accommodated in a general population shelter


All Special Needs Shelter participants must bring a caregiver with them  to the designated Special Needs shelter. The caregiver must be able to:

  • Assist you with all activities of daily living, including dressing and toileting.

  • Lift you to/from toilet and cot and wheelchair as needed.

  • Assist you with walking (with or without walker), assist with wheelchair.

  • Transport food from cafeteria to you as needed.

  • Assist with medication and any treatments as needed.

  • Monitor your oxygen usage.

  • Provide evacuation center management with a discharge plan in the event the you cannot return to your home.

You are permitted to bring your spouse/significant other and dependents (limited to high school age and below, living in same household) with you in addition to your caregiver. Many times the caregiver is a spouse/significant other; please be sure that they can fulfill the caregiver responsibilities outlined above.

There is no guarantee that household members will be housed in the same room as you or that bedding/cots are will be available for them.

 

The Special Needs Shelter is located in West Glades Elementary School, 2586 State Highway 731, LaBelle (Muse), Florida.

 

HOW TO APPLY
Registering with the Special Needs Program does not guarantee you will be assigned a space in the Special Needs Shelter.  Your application will be reviewed by the Department of Health, and you will be assigned to a shelter where your needs can be managed.  Application's can be downloaded by clicking on the appropriate link in the table below. 
 


You must complete a paper application and fax it or mail it to Hendry County Emergency Management (we stop processing applications when Hendry County enters the five-day forecast cone of a storm, so submit your application early in the season.) OR you may register online by clicking the link below:

ONLINE FLORIDA SPECIAL NEEDS REGISTRY APPLICATION

 


Mail to: Hendry County Emergency Management

Post Office Box 2340

LaBelle, Florida  33975               FAX to: 863.674.4040


PRIOR TO GOING TO A SHELTER:
Personal Contact and Medical Information List:
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.

Make a Shelter Kit:
Assemble an emergency supply kit in a duffle bag or backpack and label it with the client’s name and phone number. Store the supply kit in a place that is dry and easily accessible. Include all medications and medical equipment including batteries and power cords. A more detailed checklist of suggested items to bring to a shelter can be found on this Shelter Items Checklist for Special Needs Client.

Gather Important Documents:
Store an emergency contact list and documents in your emergency supply kit in case your home is damaged. Keep the information in a safe place and give copies to your personal support network and out of area contact.

 

WHAT TO BRING WITH YOU
Space at the shelter can be limited depending on how many people seek evacuation. Please limit your belongings to: clothing and personal hygiene items for up to three (3) days. Limit one (1) suitcase/bag per person, and bring clothing suitable for layering as the temperature of the shelter may vary.

  • Pillow and sheet or heavier blanket.

  • Two weeks of medications.

  • Extra small “travel” bottles of oxygen, or oxygen concentrators if applicable.

  • Walker/cane if needed.

  • Wheelchair or electric scooter and charger, if applicable (NOTE: the shelter is very big and hallways are very long).

  • Any medical equipment/supplies needed (i.e. sharps container, catheters, incontinence supplies, c-pap, etc.).

  • Special dietary foods (72 hours supply), in a cooler, as special diets cannot be accommodated.

  • There is no refrigeration space for food and only limited space for medications.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS TO BRING

  • List of current medications.

  • Phone numbers for emergency contacts and doctors.

  • Address and phone number of where you will go if you cannot go back to your home (due to damage or no power) when the storm is over. This is very important as the evacuation centers will close and a back-up place of residence may be needed.

  • Extra battery for phones and personal electronic devices as only essential medical equipment will be plugged in if the power goes out and the evacuation center is on generator power.

Be sure to label all equipment and belongings with your name and telephone number so it is easily identifiable. This will help us make sure you receive your items if lost or left behind at the evacuation center.

Before you leave your home be sure to leave your answering machine on or a porch light on to make it easier to determine if your electric has been restored.
 

THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE PROGRAM

  • You must register every year. Your application is good for one calendar year only.

  • We stop processing applications when Hendry County enters the five-day forecast cone of a storm, so submit your application early in the season.

  • The Special Needs Shelter does require pre-registration and acceptance by the Department of Health.

  • Bring to the shelter things you need to survive, such as prescriptions, personal hygiene items, sleeping bag, pillow, change of clothes, glasses, special dietary needs, books/magazines/cards or other things to help pass the time while sheltering.

  • No food and water will be provided, we suggest you bring enough food and drinks with you for 72 hours (3-days).

  • Service animals are allowed in all shelters. See the information about pets on the right side of this site.

  • The Special Needs Shelter is a pet friendly shelter.  If you bring your pet they will be housed and sleep in a different area from you, but you will have access to them for feeding, walking and spending time.

 

FINAL NOTES ABOUT THE SPECIAL NEEDS SHELTER

  • The Special Needs Shelter will be open for those with special/medical needs that require electricity, such as oxygen dependence, dialysis, ventilators, nebulizers, etc.

  • You must pre-register for the Special Needs Shelter using the application above.

  • You need a companion/caregiver to accompany you during the time you shelter, as we have a limited number of staff working.

  • You will receive a confirmation letter and instructions to advise that your name is on the registry, and what to expect if shelters are opening.


If you have questions about the Special Needs Program,
call 863.674.5400.


 

 

 

PREPARE HENDRY EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION SYSTEM

SIGN UP FOR PREPARE HENDRY EMERGENCY ALERTS CLICK HERE
 

 

WHAT TO EXPECT

The registered person with special needs will receive a cot upon arrival at the Special Needs Shelter. Pillows, sheets, blankets, bath towels, and other personal care items are not provided.

Spouses and other registered family members accompanying the Special Needs Shelter Client, including the caregiver, will need to bring their own supplies. Caregivers will be issued one chair to sit beside the client. Space is VERY limited in the shelter.

Cots are 18” from the ground and hold up to 450 lbs. If you require a cot to hold over 450lbs, you must submit your request well in advance. The number of cots for up to 750 lbs. is very limited.

The Special Needs Shelter will NOT provide meals, snacks or drinks. Clients must bring their own foods, enough for 72 hours for each member of your party. There may not always be a microwave available, so foods should be “ready-to-eat”. Additionally, special diets are not provided

 

 

 

SERVICE ANIMALS

Only service animals as defined by the ADA are permitted to stay with a resident at the Special Needs Shelter, or in a pet-approved evacuation center.

This is limited to dogs and miniature ponies that are trained to provide a service. Your service animal must be leashed and under control at all times and you must be able to take care of your service animal independently or with your caregiver.

Be aware that there may be a period during the storm when you will not be permitted to go outside with your animal.

NOTE: Emotional support, comfort and anxiety animals are not defined as service animals by the ADA and will be housed as pets.

 

 

 

PETS

Pets that are accepted will be kept in a separate area.

All pets must be current on vaccinations and have all necessary supplies (crate, food, etc.).

If you do not wish to be separated from your pet you may want to consider evacuating to a pet friendly hotel outside of the evacuation zone.

Once accepted into the Special Needs Program you will be advised by Emergency Management and informed of that shelters pet policy.

 

 

 

APPLICATION FOR SPECIAL NEEDS SHELTER

APPLICATION TO ENROLL IN THE SPECIAL  NEEDS SHELTER PROGRAM

SOLICITUD DE INSCRIPCIÓN AL PROGRAMA DE ALBERGUE PARA NECESIDADES ESPECIALES

ONLINE FLORIDA SPECIAL NEEDS REGISTRY APPLICATION

 

 

 

MAKE A PLAN NOW

You can do this ahead of an emergency:

Establish a Personal Support network

Post your emergency instructions on the refrigerator

Visit FloridaDisaster.org for more planning information

 

GENERATOR SAFETY

CLICK LINKS BELOW FOR GENERATOR SAFETY INFORMATION

Generator Safety Video

Generator Safety (English)

Generator Safety (Spanish)

 

 

 

CHECK YOUR FLOOD ZONE

Click here to check the flood zone of your address

 

 

 



Hendry County Emergency Management
4425 West State Road 80
LaBelle, Florida 33935 
863-674-5400