Disaster Preparedness: Planning for medically dependent sheltering

Regardless of a physical or mental condition, we all need to plan for a disaster. It’s especially important for those medical needs, and Sarasota County has designated certain evacuation centers for those individuals with qualifying needs.

But, how do you know if you qualify? If your needs include the use of oxygen or medical equipment that requires electricity, you might qualify. 

screenshot of Sarasota County Government's medical needs shelter program web page. [credit: uf/ifas extension sarasota county]
Screenshot of Sarasota County Government’s medical needs shelter program web page. [CREDIT: UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County]

It’s important to apply early to see if you can participate in this program. If you do qualify, you will be placed on the county’s registry for transportation and sheltering at a medically-dependent evacuation center.  At the center, you are provided enough space for you, your equipment and your caregiver. Medically-dependent evacuation centers do not provide hands-on medical care, only medical monitoring.

And for supplies? Remember to pack medications, special equipment, and bedding, and don’t forget to include special instructions regarding the medically dependent’s care. 

Some other supplies you should take with you to the evacuation center can include:

  • hygiene items,
  • extra clothing,
  • hearing aides and batteries,
  • pillows and blankets,
  • snacks,
  • folding chair, and
  • important documents, such as:
    • a driver’s license,
    • insurance policies, and
    • property inventories

For a complete list of needed shelter supplies, view our Weather Disaster Food and Supply Shopping List” fact sheet.

Its easy to apply for this service. Just call 311 or 941-861-5000. You can also get more information at scgov.net/beprepared.

Remember, taking the time to prepare for a disaster will help you feel better emotionally, and might even save your life!


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Posted: September 23, 2022

Category: Disaster Preparation, Work & Life
Tags: #stormsafety, Disaster, Disaster Prep, Medical Needs, Pgm_FCS, Preparedness, Shelter

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