Storm Tips for Seniors

Special Needs Shelter

In Florida, we are particularly vulnerable to severe weather like hurricanes; and elders are especially susceptible to their effect. Palm Beach County has established a Special Needs Program to provide for citizens with certain medical problems during a major emergency. The Special Needs Shelter is a facility with physicians and nurses on staff.  It has auxiliary electrical power, is wind resistant, and not flood-prone. The shelter is not a medical facility and provides limited services. The shelter does not provide medication, dialysis, oxygen, or oxygen concentrators. Space at these shelters is limited.  Prioritization is based on need.

Complete Palm Beach County's Special Needs Shelter Application form or download, print and complete the application, and mail it to Special Needs Coordinator, 20 South Military Trail, West Palm Beach, FL 33415.

If you require oxygen, check with your supplier about emergency plans. If you evacuate, remember to take medications, written instructions regarding your care, your walker, wheelchair, cane, or special equipment along with your bedding. If you will need assistance in an evacuation, please register NOW.

Special Needs Shelter Criteria

  • Persons who cannot be without electricity because they depend upon their own electrically energized life support equipment within the home (i.e. oxygen, nebulizers, G/NG Tubes, uncomplicated IV, etc).
  • Persons that require assistance with transferring or need a Hoyer Lift.
  • Persons receiving assistance with activities of daily living who need a place to evacuate with their caregiver.
  • Persons with progressive Alzheimer’s or Dementia need a place to evacuate with their caregiver.
  • Caregivers must accompany their patients.

Home Health Care and Home Bound Patients

Notify your health agency where you will be during a hurricane and when care can be re-established If you are homebound and under the care of a physician, but not a home health agency, contact your physician. If you require respirators or another electric dependant medical equipment, you should make prior medical arrangements with your physician. You should also register, in advance with FP&L. Visit FP&L's Medically Essential Services webpage for additional information. 

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