Special Needs Clients

Category I: Special Needs Patients

People who can be placed in a special needs shelter should be ambulatory (able to be moved), with or without assisting devices, and may include patients with the following chronic medical problems:

  • Foley catheter maintenance
  • Aphasia
  • Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA), wheelchair (permanent)
  • Cerebral palsy
  • IV therapy
  • Hyperalimentation
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), oxygen and/or nebulizer therapy
  • Medial equipment attachments: IV, G-tube feeders, indwelling catheters
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS), wheelchair (permanent)
  • Muscular dystrophy (MD), wheelchair (permanent)
  • Osteoarthritis/osteoporosis, wheelchair (permanent)
  • Parkinson’s disease, advanced
  • Skin rashes/open sores, fluid
  • Terminal illness
  • Wheelchair (permanent)
  • Diabetes (unstable clients only)
  • Medication maintenance and (IM) injections (patients should be instructed to bring an ample supply of medications)
  • Nasogastric or gastrostomy tubes
  • Other ostomy equipment
  • Sterile dressings, if accompanied with a nursing care plan and supplies

Hospice patients are accepted if they do not have conditions listed in Category II. Bedridden and total care patients will only be accepted if they are accompanied by a responsible caregiver and not require a hospital bed.

Category II: In-Hospital Patients

People with the following conditions require more complex care than will be available in the special needs shelter. They should discuss with their physician the need for admission to a hospital in Jacksonville or Lake City. This would include patients with the following medical status:

  • Ventilator patients
  • Third-trimester pregnant women
  • Isolation patients
  • Renal dialysis patients

Category III: General Public Evacuation Shelter Clients

Persons with the following conditions may go to a general public shelter; however, a caregiver should accompany these patients.

  • Stable stroke cases
  • Stable cardiac cases
  • Stable cancer cases
  • Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) patients
  • People with hip replacement, less than six months
  • People with knee replacement, less than six months
  • Blind people
  • Hearing impaired people
  • People with amputations
  • People with BP monitoring
  • People with severe arthritis
  • People with any minor medical condition not listed above

When Patients Arrive at Shelters

To verify the information or the registry form and assign the evacuee to the most appropriate area of the hospital, Nursing and Health Department personnel will review the registration form and update the medical needs portion. Evacuees will be assigned to an area of the shelter based on the level of care that is needed.

The evacuee’s registration form and armband will be color-coded with a sticker to identify the area the evacuee is assigned to or quick identification of critical diagnosis. Clients with more than one complication will be assigned to the area with the highest level. The forms will be separated by color code, filed alphabetically in a color-coded file folder, and kept close to the area to allow for quick access and updates from the medical personnel working in that area.

This process will identify the medications that a client needs and has with them. This will also help the medical staff to determine what specific types of assistance a client needs and whether a client needs to be redirected to another area of the shelter if inappropriately assigned. This, ideally, will take place after the evacuees are in the shelter and settled down.

The triage process is designed to assess evacuees in a quick fashion, move them into the appropriate area within the facility, and provide for further evaluation as time permits.