Individuals with special needs are encouraged to make arrangements, in advance, for sheltering and evacuation transportation, if needed. Read the information provided below before you register.
Special Needs Shelters
If you have a medical condition that requires a greater level of care than that provided at a General Population Shelter, but you do not require hospitalization or a medical institution, a Special Needs Shelter may be appropriate for you. These shelters offer basic medical assistance and monitoring. They are staffed by qualified medical personnel and have back-up electricity for limited lighting and essential medical equipment. Family members and caregivers are encouraged to accompany you.
Special Needs Shelters are appropriate if you:
- have minor health/medical condition(s) that require professional observation, assessment, and maintenance
- require assistance with personal care and/or assistance with medications but do not require hospitalization or a medical institution
- need assistance with medication administration and/or vital sign readings and are unable to do so without professional assistance.
Reasonable accommodation will be made for shelter residents with disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you need transfer assistance, sign language interpretation and other auxiliary aids, or a quiet zone for a cognitive disability or mental health need, call 954-831-3902 or TTY 954-831-3940 for the most updated information. Residents with service animals are welcome at all shelter sites so long as the pet meets the requirements under Federal law. Visit ADA Requirements for Service Animals for additional information.
Pre-registration for the Special Needs Shelter is open throughout the year, and while not required, is strongly encouraged to ensure that the shelter will be adequately prepared to meet your needs. All residents seeking shelter in a Special Needs facility will be reviewed on an individual basis to determine the best shelter option.
Use the Special Needs Shelter Kit Checklist (PDF) to help you when preparing to go to the Special Needs shelter.
Evacuation transportation services to and from your pre-planned shelter destination, including transfer assistance, are available, through either BCT fixed route service or Paratransit (TOPS).
All BCT buses are wheelchair accessible and online bus route timetables are provided in text-based format for the visually impaired.
Paratransit (TOPS) buses are for individuals with physical, cognitive, emotional, visual or other disabilities which prevent them from using BCT’s fixed route service.
Pre-registration for Paratransit (TOPS) is also strongly encouraged, if you think you may need this service. You are not obligated to take advantage of either service if your plans change.
How to Register
To request or obtain an application for a Special Needs shelter and/or Paratransit evacuation transportation, including applications in alternative formats, call Broward County Emergency Management at 954-831-3902 (or TTY 954-831-3940). You can also download and print an application online. Application forms are available in English (PDF) / Spanish (PDF) / Creole (PDF). Before completing the form, please review the Special Needs Program Overview (PDF) and the Special Needs Application Instructions (PDF). Keep a copy for yourself after completing the form.
For questions regarding the program or to inquire about your application status, please call 954-831-3902 (or TTY 954-831-3940).
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