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Special Needs Shelters

Citrus County Health Department

The Special Needs Shelter (SpNS) is opened during natural disasters when residents are encouraged or ordered to evacuate. Agencies and organizations in the community have a responsibility to the special needs population and should have input into the design, activation, operation and deactivation of the SpNS. These organizations include the Citrus County Emergency Management Division, Nature Coase Emergency Medical Services, home healthcare agencies, hospice organizations, extended care living facilities, oxygen and durable medical equipment providers and others.

Who can use special needs shelters?

The Special Needs Program is for residents with specific health and medical conditions and those requiring transportation assistance. The program helps to provide assistance in sheltering, evacuation, and transportation for registered residents during times of disasters with the resources available within Citrus County.

Special Needs Shelter Registry

The registry is a confidential list of those who need assistance. The listing is updated annually through contact with registered individuals. Medical needs such as nebulizers, oxygen, feeding tubes, or Alzheimer's disease are examples of medical criteria for registry eligibility. Disucss your medical condition(s) with your physician before registering to determine what essential needs you will require.

If you need transportation or require special care, and have no other alternative, register with the SpNS Program of the Emergency Management Division by completing the SpNS registration form (link below) or by calling the Citrus County Emergency Operations Center at 352-746-6555.

Special Needs Shelter Registration Form

What to bring to the shelter (Please write your name on all personal items):

  • Personal and medical information
    • Important papers in a zip-lock bag (i.e., insurance papers, credit card, money)
  • Daily prescription/non-prescription medication for at least 7 days
  • Special items such as hearing aids, eyeglasses, oxygen, or special dietary food
  • At least 2 changes of clothing, including a warm jacket or sweater
  • Blanket, pillow, folding chair, cot
  • Personal hygeine items such as towel, washcloth, toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, soap, diapers
  • Plastic bags for soiled items