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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

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General & Special Needs Shelter

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General Shelters

General Population Shelters should be considered as the first place of sheltering. Find a General Population Shelter in your area.  


Special Needs Shelter Information

A Special Needs Shelter is a shelter of last resort for people who need more medical supervision than a general population shelter can provide due to special medical needs, but do not require hospitalization. A person with Special Needs is someone who during an evacuation, either mandatory or voluntary, will require assistance that exceeds the basic level of care provided at the general population shelter, but will not require the level of skilled medical care provided at institutional facilities. A limited supply of cots may be available at the Special Needs Shelter. There will be no beds provided.


Special Needs Shelter

Success Academy

(Formerly West Florida Technical High School)

7045 Wymart Road

Pensacola, FL 32526

Special Needs Registry 

Those who have special medical needs are asked to pre-register with the Escambia Public Safety Department online at the Florida Special Needs Online Registery. Should you not have internet access, you may call 850-471-6400 for an application to be mailed to you. Your home health agency or local physician will also have access to the registration forms if necessary. Once the Special Needs Registry Form is completed, you may mail them to:

Escambia County Department of Public Safety
Special Needs Registry
6575 N. “W” St.
Pensacola, FL 32505 

Once it has been determined that the special needs shelter will open, spaces may fill quickly. The special needs shelter does not accept reservations nor does the registry save shelter spaces for individuals. Each person will be assessed by a medical professional upon arrival, using the Escambia County Level of Care Criteria (28 KB; pdf), to determine if they have medical conditions that qualify them for special needs sheltering. In addition, each client should be accompanied by a caregiver and the caregiver must remain with the client the entire time at the special needs shelter. Caregivers can be relatives, household members, guardians, friends, neighbors, and volunteers.

Things to Take to any Public Shelter 

If you go to a public shelter, you will need to take the following items to support you and your family for four days:

  • A change of clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes
  • Toiletries and personal items
  • Blankets or sleeping bags and pillows
  • ID and any important papers
  • Games, toys or books for children
  • Books for adults
  • Special items for infants or elderly family members
  • Any special dietary needs & non-perishable foods for snacks
  • Battery-operated radio, flashlights and plenty of spare batteries
  • Prescription medications or any over-the-counter medications you normally take 

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