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Hurricane Season begins June 1st.The Citrus County Health Department is reviewing their plans to coordinate Special Needs Shelters. Below are some guidelines to help your prepare.

Have an Emergency PlanFamily together going over a plan of action
  • Staying with family, friends or a hotel is always better than going to a community shelter
  • Have plans for after the storm in case you can not return to your home (In Hurricane Katrena some people unable to return home were housed in shelters in other states.)
  • Make family and friends aware of your plan

  • Make arrangements for your pets at the Pet Friendly Shelters


What is a Special Needs Shelter?

  • A Special Needs Shelter is a place to go, when you have no other sheltering option. It is a shelter of last resort and should only be used as a back-up to your personal sheltering plan.
  • A Special Needs Shelter provides more care and supervision than a general shelter to help meet your special needs during an evacuation.
  • To the extent possible under emergency conditions, the Special Needs Shelter will provide a safe sheltering environment and basic assistance to maintain your level of health.
  • Service animals are allowed. Their care is the responsibility of the owner.

  • Citrus County Sheriff's Office Emergency Management officials may order or recommend an evacuation of specific areas of the county for reasons that include: natural disasters such as a hurricane, fire, or flood; man-made incidents, rail, or highway accidents; or technological disasters such as a hazardous material release or nuclear power plant incidents. If you have a special need please fill out the Special Needs Registration Form.

What Should I Expect?
A Special Needs Shelter does not provide the comfort or convenience of a home or hotel, nor does it provide the level of care found in a medical facility.
A shelter may be in a school or other public facility. It may be crowded, noisy and boring. You can expect the following:

 • Food and water. If you want or need special food, you must bring it with you. Food must be non-perishable.
 • Basic medical assistance and monitoring. Complex medical equipment or care is not available.
 • An area for you and your caregiver to sleep.

What should you bring?

 • Call your doctor now and request a 30-day supply of medication if possible.
 • Get a pill organizer and pack enough pills for two weeks –
 • Make a list of all your medications: how they should be taken, what time, etc. Make copies of the list. Put one copy with the medications; give one to a caregiver, and keep one with you at all times. Make sure to list any allergies, as well as foods you need to avoid. Your doctor’s name and phone number should also be on this list.
 • Any over the counter medicine you may need like allergy pills, pain reliever, anti diarrhea medicine
 • If you are using respiratory medications with a nebulizer, bring it with you.
 • Label all equipment you bring like walkers, wheel chairs, oxygen tanks

For clothing and bedding supplies:
 • A 3 day change of clothing and footwear per person
 • Blankets or sleeping bags and pillows
 • Rain gear
 • Extra prescription glasses, sunglasses and/or contact lenses
 • Pack books, cards and your address book
 • Extra batteries for things like hearing aides.

If you need to register for a Special Needs Shelter please go to the web site Emergency Management or contact the Emergency Operations Center at 352-249-2707.

A certain portion of Citrus County residents are impacted by natural disasters every year.  People are forced to leave their homes for fires, floods, tornado's and threats of tropical storms or hurricanes. The 2004 hurricane season set records for the State of Florida. Four hurricanes made landfall effecting millions of residents. Citrus County opened special needs shelters for three of the four storms. Some county residents were without power for 6 days and the flooding forced people out of their homes for months. Many of our businesses were  impacted by the storms, some for the first time.  The residents and businesses that recovered the fastest had some sort of preparedness plan. The recovery effort in the state of Florida will continue for a very long time. We urge every resident to design an emergency plan for their home or business. Florida Disaster link below will provide useful info from recovering from an emergency. Florida Disaster Recovery

Road closed due to flooding Here at the Citrus County Health Department, staff works with Emergency Management, Public Safety agencies and community partners to assist residents and visitors before, during and after a disaster. Our Emergency Coordinator works within the Tampa Bay Regional Domestic Task Force to assure the availability of regional and statewide resources. We also work with our local hospitals, EMS and health providers to prepare for future public health threats.

It is important that you and your family learn the hazards of your community and take time to prepare.

How can families prepare for unexpected events.
Due to national events, many families are asking, "What can I do to protect my family in an emergency situation." A Family Preparedness Plan is a good idea. This is a plan for emergencies that you make as a family. The family's plan can include Emergency Contacts, identification of Meeting Points, a Disaster Supply Kit, and more. Simple planning can help lessen the fear of the unknown.

Meeting Points
Since your family is not together 24 hours a day, your plan will include how you would find each other in a disaster. Meeting points (physical locations) should be identified for the most commonly frequented locations (i.e. work, school, neighbors). For example, if a disaster happens at school-your plan will have a location where both parents and child decide to meet.

For more information on HOW TO PREPARE:

Citrus County is known for its natural beauty, but like any community it also has its hazards.


Getting Started:


Types of Emergencies:


Special Needs:






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This page was last modified on: 01/14/2014 01:27:47

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