Special Needs Shelter Registration for Seniors
The recent storms that hit the Florida Panhandle area have reminded us of the approaching hurricane season. The Atlantic Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.
For some in Central Florida, the 2004 Atlantic Hurricane Season still haunts us. News and video about nearby storm damage may sometimes trigger past memories of what we experienced during the summer months of 2004. Some of us still remember how Hurricane Charley, which had been projected to hit in the Tampa Bay area, left many Central Floridians unprepared when it ended up spinning and swirling up the I-4 corridor. Hurricane Charley made landfall west of Ft. Myers, Florida, August 13 of 2004; it wobbled, and then headed north-northeast producing heavy damage all the way from Punta Gorda to Orlando, and then north of Daytona Beach.
For many locals, the 2004 August-September months remain quite vivid; living without power for countless days, standing in line buying ice, or running around trying to find gas kept us on our toes. Downed oak trees, battery operated radios, and bright blue roof tarps were more than props for an unforgettable 2004. The unmistakable humming and rumbling of generators in some neighborhoods was a constant reminder of what some of us could have prepared for, but failed to do in advance.
Preparing for a Weather Emergency
In addition to making hurricane season plans for our immediate family, some of us now need to consider preparations for a senior loved one. What can we do if a wheelchair-bound 87 year old lives alone, and we cannot reach her because we are out of town?
In addition to regular shelters, Seminole, Osceola, and Orange counties have Special Needs Shelters designed to accommodate individuals who cannot be left alone in their own home and need assistance with activities of daily living. All three counties require a special needs registration form to be filled out and submitted. In case of an emergency or dangerous weather condition, each county agency will proceed with notifications, and evacuations of those listed on their special needs shelter list.
We have listed Special Needs Shelter programs for the following three counties:
Orange County Special Needs Registration can be accessed online.
Special Needs Registration contact phone: 407-836-9319
Emergency Management contact phone: 407-836-9140
- Osceola County Special Needs Shelter Registration Information
Osceola County’s Special Needs (Registration) packet can be downloaded from their website. Osceola County’s Office of Emergency Management has incorporated social media links to both Facebook and Twitter.
Contact phone: 407-343-2133
Contact phone: 407-665-5102
What to Take to a Special Needs Shelter?
Some of the following items will be needed when going to a Special Needs Shelter: identification with picture, list of medications, prescription medications, hygiene items, diapers, pillows, needed clothing, Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) forms, and family contact information. For a more complete list, please contact the county where you reside or access the lists online:
- Orange County Special Needs List of Items
- Osceola Country Special Needs List of Items to Bring is included in the registration packet.
- Seminole County Emergency Services Special Needs List of Items
Central Florida Home Health Care agencies are required to submit a list of their special need patients to the county where the patients reside. Don’t forget to update contact information should changes take place.
If you do not have a Home Health Care agency caring for your senior loved one, and you feel they need to be on a Special Needs Registry, do not forget to contact your county’s Emergency Services for information. It is crucial to prepare in advance when caring for individuals with special needs.
We hope this reminder to prepare and register with a Special Needs Shelter program will keep you and your loved ones safe.
If the time comes that you are in need of assistance, or know of a friend or neighbor who needs home health care, please contact Senior Helpers of Orlando at 407-628-4357.
Ana P De Lane
Senior Helpers of Orlando Team Member
Senior Helpers Orlando, whose owners started the company after less-than-satisfactory experiences with in-home care services for their parents, has provided outstanding service to hundreds of families in the area. Specializing in Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care, Senior Helpers offers this blog to help families gain a better understanding of the health care needs of their senior loved ones and how to best care for them. For more information on how Senior Helpers Orlando can assist your family, please call us at (407) 628-4357 or visit www.seniorhelpers.com/orlando.