Special Medical Needs Shelter

Pre-Registration Required

St. Johns County Department of Emergency Management, St. Johns County Public Health Department, and many other county agencies and volunteers have established Special Medical Needs Shelters for use during an evacuation situation.


Who is Eligible?

A Special Needs Shelter is different than a Public Shelter; it is a refuge for people who have specific medical needs that cannot be met in a General Population Shelter.

Not all individuals will be eligible to shelter in the Special Needs shelter. Space at the Special Needs Shelter is reserved for individuals who rely on electricity for medical equipment or require oxygen therapy. Pre-registration is required.


Accommodations at the Shelter

A limited number of cots are available and are offered on a first come – first served basis. There is the possibility there will not be cots available for everyone in the shelter; prepare your supplies accordingly. Hospital beds will not be available. If you require a hospital bed, you will need to discuss other sheltering arrangements with your caregiver, health care provider, or physician.

A Special Medical Needs Shelter has an emergency generator to supply power for medically necessary equipment such as oxygen concentrators or CPAP machines. There may be times in order to conserve available power, that air conditioning will not be available.

Service animals (as defined by the American Disabilities Act) are allowed. Their care is the sole responsibility of the owner.

Medical Care

Medical Care

The Special Needs Shelter is not a substitute for regular health care. Basic medical assistance and monitoring will be available. A caregiver should come with individuals with special needs to maintain the level of care they are used to receiving. Shelter staff will not be able to provide one-on-one care.

The shelter is not equipped with advanced medical equipment, and is not staffed to provide advanced levels of care. Individuals who require advanced care should discuss other sheltering arrangements with their caregiver, health care provider, or physician.

If you require ambulance transportation and / or hospital facilities, you or your care-giver should make those arrangements ahead of time. The Special Needs Shelter is not a hospital or nursing home.

The Special Needs Shelter cannot support individuals with complex care or the following medical needs:

  • Hospital beds
  • Dialysis
  • Ventilators
  • Tracheostomy
  • Hoyer Lifts

Individuals who require any of these medical services need to make arrangements with a hospital or a facility that can support those needs outside of the evacuation area.

Assistance Registration

Evacuation Assistance and Special Medical Needs Shelter

3 Ways to Register