Special Needs

Am I Eligible for the Special Needs Program?

The Special Needs Program is for people who have certain physical or mental conditions or limitations, and need daily assistance by a caregiver or health provider for personal care (bathing, eating, walking, transportation, etc.) and/or medication administration or treatment for stable conditions are qualifying reasons for admission into a Special Needs Shelter. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • Arthritis
  • Alzheimer's
  • Bedridden
  • Cancer
  • Cardiac History (Stable)
  • Diabetes
  • Dialysis
  • Electricity Dependent
  • Frail Elderly
  • Oxygen Supply Dependent
  • Parkinson's
  • Paralysis
  • Post-Operation Recovery
  • Respiratory Problems
  • Seizures
  • Sores
  • Visual/Hearing Impairment
  • Wheelchair bound, etc.

 

While the conditions listed above are medical qualifiers for admittance into a Special Needs Shelter, individuals should make their best effort to stay with family or friends in a structure away from the impacts of the disaster. The use of a Special Needs Shelter is primarily for individuals with special needs who:

 

  • Do not have any local family assistance for transportation and sheltering in a disaster event such as a hurricane.
  • Do not have any other option but to request public transportation and shelter.
  • Live alone or with another person with Special Needs.
  • Reside in unsafe housing during a storm, such as a mobile home.
  • Cannot drive or access any transportation to a safe shelter.


Individuals who are not eligible for Special Needs Sheltering include the following:

  • People requiring hospital care to treat severe or advanced medical conditions are NOT eligible for this program and should make prior arrangements with their doctors for transportation and evacuation.
  • Residents of Assisted Living Facilities such as nursing homes, group homes or retirement facilities. These facilities have their own emergency plans, and should be able to assist their residents with transportation and shelter.
Register Online​
Information for Home Healthcare Agencies

The purpose of the Special Needs Program is to provide transportation and sheltering for Alachua County residents who have mental or physical limitations or disabilities and have no other option but to request public assistance for evacuation planning in the event of a disaster such as a hurricane.

Your agency plays a very important role in the registration process and identification of Special Needs people in the area due to the constant contact with potential clients year-round. Identify eligible clients and inform them of the availability of the Special Needs Program. Registration is online, free, voluntary and confidential.

Although new clients can be added to the program at any time, we recommend that you register current clients prior to Hurricane Season to allow Emergency Management staff appropriate time for (June 1 - November 30).

  • Only use the Special Needs online registration form​ to enter new registrants
  • Send all completed registration forms to Alachua County Emergency Management.
  • To make updates to existing registrations with the most current, accurate information, please call Alachua County Emergency Management at 352-264-6540
En Espanol

El proposito del programa para personas con necesidades especiales esta diseñado para proporcionar transporte y vivienda a personas durante un huracán o cualquier otra emergencia.

El registro para este programa es gratis, voluntario y confidencial. Solo personas que sean elegibles seran registradas. Personas registradas son responsables por mantener su informacion correcta y al dia con la Division de Manejo de Emergencias del condado.

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da más acerca del proceso de registro y su elegibilidad.

Frequently Asked Questions

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