Special Needs Registry
Monroe County Emergency Management Responsibilities
In order to meet the special needs of those who need assistance during evacuations and sheltering due to physical and mental disabilities, Florida statutes mandate that each local emergency management agency in the state maintain a registry of disabled persons located within the jurisdiction of the local agency.
The registration must identify those persons in need of assistance and plan for resource allocation to meet those identified needs.
Through our new system, Everbridge®, registrants will be notified by telephone, text, email, or smartphone of a pending evacuation and be given specific instructions to follow when you need to evacuate to the Special Needs Shelter. We will make every attempt to reach out to you via the methods you prescribe when you register.
Eligible conditions for the Special Needs Shelter include, but are not limited to:
- Being dependent on supplemental oxygen
- Limited mobility
- Needing assistance with daily activities such as feeding, medications and hygiene
- Moderate dementia
- Cognitive impairment
- Immobile or wheelchair bound
- In need of wound care and/or in need of constant supervision
All applications will be reviewed by medical staff from the Department of Health and assessed for program eligibility. Ineligible applicants will be referred to applicable sheltering options, which may include a General Population Emergency Shelter or a Specialized Medical Facility or Nursing Home.
The Special Needs Registry is not a replacement for having an evacuation plan of your own. You should try and seek help or shelter from family, friends or neighbors in a hurricane or other disaster. Public shelters should be a last resort for those who have no other choice. It is advised that you work on a plan that meets your specific medical needs with your doctor or a healthcare professional.
If you have registered and requested transportation assistance, you will be notified through your specified method of communication in advance of evacuation. You will need to decide whether you will be evacuating and let us know at that time. We will not be able to call you back. If you decide to evacuate, we will direct you to the nearest Staging Area to your home or make arrangements to pick you up. You must have your belongings and supplies packed and ready to go.
How Do I Sign Up for the Special Needs Registry?
Beginning December 1, 2018, Monroe County Emergency Management will be switching to a new platform for the Special Needs Registry for Shelter and Evacuation Assistance through an internet program called Everbridge®. Everbridge® is a subscription-based alert system which allows us to contact a large number of people though automated phone calls, emails, text messages, and other wireless notifications.
In the event of an actual emergency, our notification system will make every attempt to contact you though whichever method you provide during the registration process. You will be given important information and directions to follow if you choose to utilize the Special Needs Registry for Shelter and Evacuation Assistance.
In order to stay active, you must re-apply through our on-line portal annually before April 30th of each year. Don’t worry - we’ll send you a reminder through the program. You can always log into your account to make changes anytime you need. Due to the nature of this new program, paper applications are no longer being accepted.
The registration portal can be reached by visiting where you will be directed through the registration process. You may also download the Everbridge® App for your smartphone at https://www.everbridge.com/app Opens a New Window. or through the App Store® for iPhone® and Google Play® for Android® devices. If you are unable to do so on your own, or do not have access to the internet, you can seek assistance through your home health care provider, primary care physician, case manager, or family and friends.
Client Privacy Information
Your privacy and protection of personal information is one of our top priorities. Please read and retain a copy of our Privacy Practices at the following link:
Special Needs Registry Sheltering Information
For Category 1 Storms and below, the Special Needs Shelter will be setup within Monroe County at the Gato Building in Key West and/or the Murray Nelson Government Center in Key Largo. Larger Category Storms that require a mandatory evacuation of The Keys will prompt Special Needs persons to shelter on the mainland at Florida International University in Miami. More information on sheltering is available through the following link:
What to Bring to a Shelter?
Please remember that space and supplies are limited at shelters. Very few comforts will be available. You should bring a 30 days' supply of medication with you to the shelter. If you need special foods, you should bring at least seven (7) days' supply of non-perishable food. It may take several hours or days before shelters are fully supplied. Please remember to bring all prescription medications and important papers.
If you have pets in need of sheltering you may register them at the same time as your self. You must read and acknowledge the Emergency Shelter Agreement for Pets prior to registering your pet. Your pet will be transported to a Pet Friendly Shelter in the vicinity of the Special Needs Shelter. Only ADA recognized Service Animals trained to perform a disability-related task are permitted in the Special Needs Shelter. Emotional Support and Comfort Animals are considered pets and will be referred to the Pet Shelter. It is a good idea to make separate arrangements for your pets with friends and family and only rely on the Pet Shelter as a last resort.