Special Needs

Madison County Special Needs Sheltering

A special needs shelter is a temporary emergency facility capable of providing care to residents whose medical condition may require the use of electrical equipment, oxygen, dialysis, or individuals with physical, cognitive, or medical conditions that may require assistance from medical professionals. Shelters are not staffed to provide bedside care. Although special needs shelters provide more care than a general shelter, they do not provide the level of care found in a medical facility. Criteria for the Madison County Special Needs shelter includes but is not limited to the following:

  1. a) A person with a stable medical condition that requires periodic observation, assessment and maintenance (i.e. glucose readings, vital signs, ostomy care, urinary catheter).
  2. b) A person requiring periodic wound care assistance (i.e. dressing changes).
  3. c) A person with limitations requires assistance with activities of daily living.
  4. d) A person requiring and needing assistance with oral, subcutaneous or intramuscular injectable, or topical medication.
  5. e) A person requiring minimal assistance with ambulation, position change and transfer (i.e. able to move more than 100 feet or without an assisted device).
  6. f) A person requiring oxygen that can be manually supplied.
  7. g) A person medically dependent on uninterrupted electricity for therapies including but not limited to oxygen, nebulizer, and feeding tubes. Ventilator dependent persons and persons with multiple special needs requiring a higher level of care, may need to be referred to a skilled medical facility.
  8. h) A person with mental or cognitive limitations requiring assistance who is accompanied by an appropriate fulltime caregiver for the duration of their stay in the shelter.
  9. i) A person requiring fulltime care who is accompanied by an appropriate fulltime caregiver for the duration of their stay in the shelter.
  10. j) A person whose weight does not exceed the safety weight restrictions of provided cots.
  11. k) A person who can be safely transferred and does not require specialty lifting or transferring equipment. A person requiring a stretcher to be transported may need to be referred to a higher skilled medical facility.

A Special Needs Shelter, like other disaster shelters, is a place to stay when there is no other sheltering option. Caregivers should come with individuals with special needs to maintain the level of care they are used to receiving, Shelter staff will not be able to provide one on one care. It is a requirement that all evacuees come self contained with ALL medicines, medical supplies, medical equipment, clothes and bedding.

Registering for the Special Needs Program does not automatically guarantee admittance to the Special Needs shelter. Specific criteria must be met to be placed on the list. All registrants will be triaged by the Florida Department of Health staff to determine eligibility.

Please fill out the registration form at the link below or call the Madison County Emergency Management office (850-973-3698) for a paper form to be returned to the following address:

Madison County Emergency Management
1083 SW Harvey Greene Dr.
Madison, FL 32340

The State of Florida Rule 64-3.020 Eligibility Criteria for Special Needs Shelters.

(1) A person shall be eligible for access to a special needs shelter if:
(a) They are a person with special needs;
(b) Their care needs exceed basic first aid provided at General Population Shelters; and
(c) Their impairments or disabilities:

  1. Are medically stable; and
  2. Do not exceed the capacity, staffing and equipment of the special need shelter to minimize deterioration of their pre-event level of health.

(2) Special needs shelter may choose to accept persons with care needs that exceed the criteria stated in subsection (1).
(3) Determination as to the capacity (either in skills or assets) of the special needs shelter is made by the local emergency management agency and the county health department or their designees.

Specific Authority 381.0303(6)(a) FS. Law Implemented 381.0303(6)(a) FS. History–New 11-21-07

Madison County Special Needs Registry