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Special Needs Shelter

A special needs shelter is a last-resort refuge from a pending disaster. It’s a safe place for those who need a more skilled level of care than a regular shelter can provide.

The special needs shelter is a “lifeboat” rather than the “cruise ship.” Special needs people seeking shelter must have caregivers with them. The nursing and medical staff are there to help with emergency and medical needs of the Baker County community. They will offer support to the caregivers if needed.

If the special needs individual has no caregiver, they must make arrangements with their family physician. They will need special admission to the hospital with orders so the nursing staff can provide the appropriate care.

Nursing homes and adult congregate living facilities (ACLFs) are not candidates for a special needs shelter. Those facilities have their own disaster plan.

Pharmaceutical services are not provided. Special dietary requirements cannot be met in a shelter. Only basic meals will be served.

The caregiver is expected to assume primary responsibility for helping the patient to the bathroom, feeding meals, and positioning. The caregiver is expected to be responsible to administer routine medications and to manage oxygen, nebulizers, pumps, monitors, or any equipment used at home.

If arriving for special needs assistance, go to the front lobby of the hospital. You will be met by a representative to determine if you qualify as a special needs client. If not, you will be directed to the nearest public shelter.

Registration for special needs is recommended and should be done with the Baker County EMS.

Guide for Evacuees

The following items are required to come with the client and the caregiver and are their responsibility:

  • All medications (a two-week supply is recommended).
  • All medical supplies—dressing supplies, diapers, ostomy supplies, etc.
  • Bedding—pillows, blankets, cots, lawn chairs, sleeping bags, etc.
  • Special dietary needs. Food served at the shelter will be basic, simple meals. Snack food must be brought to the shelter by the clients.
  • Medical equipment—oxygen concentrators, pumps, feeding tube supplies, monitors, nebulizers, walkers, wheelchairs, etc.
  • Personal care items such as toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, shampoo, soap, etc.
  • Personal entertainment items—books, puzzles, radios, batteries.

Children need to go to a public shelter with caregivers. A special needs shelter is not the place for them unless they qualify as a special needs client.

Baker County Medical Services Inc. cannot be responsible for the loss of personal items.

Public Shelters

The public shelters in Baker County are located in the following places:

  • First Baptist Church—Glen
  • Family Service Center
  • Baker County Middle School
  • Baker County High School

Contact Information

Baker County Medical Services, Inc.
159 North 3rd Street, Macclenny, FL 32063 • MAP
Phone: (904) 259-3151