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Special Needs Program
​​​​​​​Emergency Management > Special Needs Program

In accordance with Florida Statute 252.355, registration is for residents who have physical, mental or sensory disability and require assistance during an emergency.  Charlotte County Emergency Management along with the Florida Department of Health in Charlotte County will strive to provide special needs sheltering and/or transportation to a general shelter in accordance with the statute.

There are three levels of care that may be available for an emergency.

Public Shelters:

Public shelters are places to go if you have no other choice. There is no need to register for the public shelter unless you have no transportation to get there. Public shelters require that evacuees provide their own bedding, food, and water. If possible pets will be admitted to public shelters depending on if they have a facility available or not. You must provide vaccination records, a cage, have enough food/water, a leash, and litter boxes.

Special needs shelters:

Special needs shelters are available for those individuals that require medical assistance that is not available at a public shelter. Only basic medical assistance and monitoring will be available. Oxygen will be provided to those persons who require it. All persons must be accompanied by a caregiver and provide their own bedding, food, water, medications, and transfer oxygen devices. No pets are allowed unless they are a service animal. All service animals must have vaccination records and be caged. You must also provide their food, water, leash, and litter box.

Hospitals

Any person with conditions that cannot be cared for in the special needs shelter must be admitted to a hospital and arrangements should be made prior via your personal Physician before June 1. 


Registration forms

Please make every effort to provide the full information required on the application. Incomplete applications make planning for evacuations more difficult and could hamper efforts to evacuate people during an event. It also puts valuable lives of emergency personnel in jeopardy as well as needed resources. We reserve the right to reject incomplete applications.

There are two ways you can register:

  1. Online at the Florida Special Needs Registry
  2. Download online application
If you chose to download the application, you can mail or email the completed document to our office. 26571 Airport Road, Punta Gorda, FL 33982 or email Emergency.Management@CharlotteCountyFL.gov.

The completed application will be reviewed by the Florida Department of Health in Charlotte County and you will be notified by US Mail of your status. 


NOTE:

Completion of an application does not guarantee the availability of a shelter or medical treatment during an event. Whenever possible, alternate plans for evacuation that do not include public shelters should be made

Our office will stop processing applications when Charlotte County enters the five-day forecast cone, so submit your application early in the season. 


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