Special Needs Shelter Registration
The Special Needs Shelter for Walton County is located at:
Freeport High School
12615 Business Hwy 331
Freeport, FL 32439
What is Special Needs Sheltering?
The Florida Division of Emergency Management, in coordination with each local emergency management agency in the state, developed a registry to allow residents with special needs to register with their local emergency management agency to receive assistance during a disaster. The statewide registry provides first responders with valuable information to prepare for disasters or other emergencies.
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:
- You are a person with special medical needs
- Your care exceeds the basic first aid provided at general population shelters
- 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
Providing as much information as possible will allow emergency management officials to plan accordingly for future disasters. You will be e-mailed periodically to verify the information provided is correct and to make any necessary changes. Individual surveys will be archived after one year if not verified.
Why should you register?
Registering for special needs sheltering allows you to receive important information from local emergency management officials about evacuations. Taking the time to prepare today ensure you have a safe place to shelter for upcoming storms. It may just save you or a loved one’s life!
Florida Statute 252.905 declares any information furnished by a person or business to the Florida Division of Emergency Management, for the purpose of, being provided assistance with emergency planning is exempt from F.S. 119.07 (1) and s. 24 (a), Art. I of the State Constitution. Information provided through the FL Get a Plan website for the purposes of building a family and/or business emergency plan is therefore exempt from public records requests made of the Division and is only used for the express purpose of allowing visitors to this website to build and maintain family and/or business emergency plans.
Completing the Florida Special Needs Registry does not automatically qualify the individual for a special needs shelter. Additional information will be provided by your local emergency management agency regarding sheltering.
How do I register myself of a loved one for Special Needs Sheltering?
- Complete and submit form online. (Preferred and Fastest Method)
- Print form and mail to Walton County Emergency Management
Where can I find more information on Special Needs Sheltering and other disaster preparedness information for older adults?
- Elder Affairs Quick Resource Guide
- Florida Department of Elder Affairs Consumer Resource Guide
Will My Privacy Be Protected?
The information within the registry will only be used in the planning for and provision of emergency and/or disaster services. Additionally, Florida Statute 252.905 declares any information furnished by a person or business to the Florida Division of Emergency Management for the purpose of being provided assistance with emergency planning is exempt from F.S. 119.07 (1) and s. 24 (a), Art. I of the State Constitution. Information provided through the registry is therefore exempt from public records requests made of the Division.
IMPORTANT! Completing the Florida Special Needs Registry does not automatically qualify the individual for a special needs shelter. Floridians are encouraged to prepare for all types of emergencies. Building an individual or family emergency plan is the first step. During an emergency, the government and other agencies may not be able to meet your needs. You should be prepared to take care of yourself and loved ones for a minimum of 72 hours. Those individuals with a special need are encouraged to identify an emergency support network and to build a disaster supply kit.