Walton County Health Department public health nurses
will provide limited support for residents with special
medical needs at the Special Needs Shelter located at
the Freeport High School.
The Special Needs Shelter is only an option of last
resort, and only for special medical needs individuals
and their caretakers. It is not a preferred destination,
but a refuge of last resort. Plan ahead and make local
arrangements with family, friends, or church members to
arrange a safe place out of harms way to evacuate to in
the local area.
If you have no other options, and have simple medical
problems requiring medicine or monitoring at certain
times you may qualify.
Is the Shelter for you?
This is a low acuity facility only. Intravenous
treatments, ostomy, feeding tube and catheter care,
postoperative recovery, acute illness treatment, sterile
dressing care, bedridden and total care, ventilation
dependant care and isolation care are not accommodated.
There will be no doctor, no acute care nurses, and no
specialty care nurses at the shelter.
Shelter occupants MUST be accompanied by a caretaker
or family member to provide the care needed. The
shelter's public health nurses will be providing general
oversight and low level monitoring, and will NOT be
available to provide homecare/activities of daily living
care or injections.
There is very little privacy with occupants and staff
working in a very basic, almost primitive situation. It
is only for those with medical conditions that have no
other evacuation option.
Absolutely no pets will be admitted to the shelter.
Working animals, such as seeing eye dogs are permitted.
There will be only rudimentary medical supplies
available such as Band-Aids, etc.
There may be no food and it is likely that there will
be no bedding.
There will be absolutely no smoking in or around the
What to bring:
No occupants will be admitted to the shelter without
an accompanying caretaker to provide adequately 24 hours
a day for their needs.
Occupants should bring all their medicines in labeled
prescription bottles, a list of their medical
conditions, and contact name(s) and number(s) for
doctor(s), the home health agency serving them, and an
emergency contact. Citizens that have a File of Life
document established should also bring that to the
shelter with them.
If occupants need any medical supplies, they will need
to bring a 72-hour supply with them.
Occupants must bring with them supplies to last 72
hours (3 days), in case the Red Cross is unable to
obtain food and bedding or other supplies. Bring 3 days'
worth of nonperishable foods, water to drink, clothing,
personal hygiene items, and bedding.
The shelter will have a generator, but in case it
fails, any occupants who require oxygen should bring
with them their backup tank.
Other recommended items to bring include: flashlight,
batteries, book(s) to read, or other activities to stay
occupied for an extended period of time, any personal
comfort items, sweater or jacket (even if the weather is
warm), radio or portable TV with earphones and
The shelter is not a hospital or clinic.
There may be no usable indoor toilet facilities if the
city water system's electricity is lost.
As soon as the storm passes and the roads are safe for
travel, special needs shelter occupants should be
prepared to vacate the shelter.
How to apply:
You may register for the special needs shelter by
Shelter Registration Form with the
County Sheriff's Office, Emergency Management and Public
Safety Communications Division.
For more information about utilizing the Special Needs
Shelter before a storm, contact
Walton County Sheriff's
Office, Emergency Management and Public Safety
During or after the storm while the Emergency
Operations Center is open, citizens may call
850-892-8186 for information.