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Special Needs Shelter Program

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Special Needs Shelter Program

A person with special needs may be any age. Most are identified through their home-care agency. Some contact the Office of Emergency Management directly. An application must be completely filled out by the person in need or their caretaker, and submitted to Emergency Management.  Once received, it is processed for review by the Okeechobee Emergency Management and County Health Department.  Based on the information provided on the form, the Medical Director will then make one of the following assignments in the event of an evacuation:

  • Special Needs Shelter — The majority of persons assigned to a Special Needs Shelter are approved for that program because their medical condition requires them to be on required or life-sustaining oxygen and electric dependent, and therefore must evacuate to a shelter where generator backup would be available in case of a loss of electricity. Some persons who are not electrically dependent and are not able to perform their daily routine activities without assistance are also assigned to the Special Needs Shelter.
  • Public Shelter — Those persons who live in a mobile or manufactured home and are not electrically dependent, and their medical condition does not require the above shelter, are assigned to go to a public shelter and all public shelters are wheelchair accessible.

The Special Needs Application form is considered and treated as a confidential medical document. These records do not fall under public records laws.

For a printed registration form (in English or Spanish) or for more information about the Special Needs Shelter program, please contact our office:

Okeechobee County Emergency Management
707 NW 6th Street
Okeechobee, FL 34972
Phone: (863)763-3212
Okeechobee County Health Department
1728 NW 9th Ave
Okeechobee, FL 34972
Phone: (863)462-5800



Okeechobee County Special Needs Registration