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Special Needs Registry and Shelters in the Pandemic

What is the Special Needs Registry?

The Special Needs Registry is a list of individuals who may receive special assistance from Leon County’s Division of Emergency Management during disasters or other emergencies.

The registry is for individuals of any age who have special medical needs but do not require hospitalization; those who need assistance with normal daily activities; and those with a chronic condition who require assistance.

Applicants must complete the eight-page Florida Special Needs Registry – Personal Survey Form available on-line at The form may be requested by phone at 850-606-3700. It may be completed on-line or, if returning the completed form via U.S. mail, use this address:

Leon County Division of Emergency Management
911 A Easterwood Drive, Room 226
Tallahassee, FL 32311

The form may also be faxed to 850-606-3701.

Information on the form is not covered by Florida’s Sunshine Laws. Only emergency management and public health professionals who have been given authority through the Florida Department of Emergency Management can access the Registry’s database.

Completing the Florida Special Needs Registry form does not automatically qualify an individual for services. Eligibility guidelines set by the Florida Department of Emergency Management must be met. After the form has been submitted to the Leon County Division of Emergency Management, call that office at 850-606-3700 to finalize eligibility and to determine next steps.

What are the Special Needs Shelters?

Assistance available to eligible individuals includes help with evacuation and access to a special needs shelter. Note that the shelter should be used only as a last resort.

More care is available at the special needs shelters than at a general needs shelter. The goal while at the shelter is to maintain an individual’s health during the emergency. Available services include food and water, basic medical assistance and back-up electricity for light and essential medical equipment. Basic nursing care, oxygen therapy and assistance with medications are also available. Caregivers are allowed to accompany the individual needing assistance as are service animals.

While food is available, shelters probably cannot provide special dietary food. Complex medical equipment and care are also not available.

For more information call the Leon County Emergency Management division (606-3700).

Note that during the coronavirus pandemic, special needs shelters will be operational when necessary during emergencies.