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Special Needs Shelters

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A Special Needs Shelter is for people who have special needs according to the definition in the Florida Administrative Code (Chapter 64-3):

"someone who during periods of evacuation or emergency, requires sheltering assistance, due to physical impairment, mental impairment, cognitive impairment or sensory disabilities"

The basic eligibility criteria you would need to meet to stay in a special needs shelter: 1) You are a person with special medical needs 2) Your care exceeds the basic first aid provided at general population shelters 3) Your impairments or disabilities are medically stable and do not exceed the capacity, staffing and equipment of the special needs shelter to minimize deterioration of your pre-event level of health.

Remember — just because you have a disability does NOT mean you will require a Special Needs Shelter. Some people with disabilities can be safely accommodated in a general population shelter. And, the best place to shelter for every Floridian is: 1) with friends or family; 2) in a safe structure; and 3) outside of the evacuation area.

Make contact with your local Office of Emergency Management to find out if you are a candidate and register in advance, so your county will be able to assist you to be prepared and provide additional information on their procedures. By completing the basic disaster plan on http://www.floridadisaster.org, information about your local Office of Emergency Management will be provided to you automatically.

An excellent family planning tool is available at http://www.floridadisaster.org.

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