As hurricane season approaches, officials with the Liberty and Long County health departments are encouraging some residents to apply to a hurricane registry, a list maintained by the health department of residents who may need help getting out in the event of a storm.
The Hurricane Registry is for people with functional, access or medical needs. It is a list maintained by the health department of residents who may need transportation or medical assistance and have no resources, such as family members, neighbors or friends, to help them evacuate if a hurricane is threatening.
Residents must apply to be on the registry and can do so by calling 1-833-1-833-243-7344 and following the phone prompts that will connect them directly with their county health department.
The application can also be downloaded from gachd.org/registry. Residents who meet criteria and get on the registry will be evacuated when there is threat of a serious hurricane.
Those with functional or access needs — including children or adults with physical, sensory or intellectual disabilities who need assistance with the activities of daily living, including eating, taking medication, dressing, bathing, communicating, transferring from bed to chair and chair to bed, and toileting — will be evacuated to a gymnasium-type setting far enough inland that they are safe from the storm.
The accommodations at the shelter will be basic — a cot with 20-40 square feet of space, bathroom facilities, meals, etc. — and the shelter may be several hours away.
Those with medical needs — including those who need the help of trained medical professionals for things like IV medication or who may be dependent on a respirator or other medical equipment — may be taken to a healthcare facility that will likely be located several hours inland.
Anyone who lives in a nursing home or assisted living or personal care facility is not eligible for the registry and must follow their facility’s emergency plan.
The registry is a last resort but it is important that local emergency management agency and public health department officials have a list of residents who have certain needs and no other way to evacuate should that become necessary.
The time to apply for the registry is when there are no storms threatening.
Registry applications will stop being accepted 72 hours prior to the arrival of tropical storm force winds.
For more information on the Hurricane Registry for those with functional, access or medical needs, go to gachd.org/registry.