The 2017 Emergency Preparedness Conference was held on Thursday, June 22, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at the Jacksonville Public Library, 303 North Laura St., Jacksonville, FL 32202. Topics included Personal Safety in Public Places, Financial Planning for an Emergency Shelter, Considerations for an Emergency, and much more. Attendees will receive free admission, lunch, and an action plan workbook. To register, visit

Duval County Emergency Management maintains a registry of clients who have been identified as persons with Special Medical Needs. These individuals require assistance during evacuations and sheltering. In an effort to help you fill out the registration, Special Needs Coordinator Zena Gainer compiled the following tips.

Tips For Filling Out Your Registration

  • Complete all medical questions.
  • If registering by mail, please write legibly. No cursive. Print, block style.
  • Remember to list if transportation is needed. Indicate “No” if it’s not. Please don’t leave that section blank.
  • Remember to list a contact number. We can't contact you in times of emergency if there isn't a number listed or if that number isn't accurate.
  • Yes, your medications are important! However, please list only prescription medications. We don’t need to document vitamins, supplements, or OTCs.
  • One form per individual.  (Note: If you and your spouse both need to register, please complete a form for each person.)
  • Don’t forget to add your apartment/unit number. A majority of our returned mail is because the apartment/unit number was not listed on the registration form.
  • A new form is needed ANNUALLY. We will notify you by mail when it is time to register.
  • Please don’t forget to inform us of the death of loved ones so we can remove them from the list.

Special Medical Needs

The Duval County Emergency Preparedness Division maintains a registry of clients identified as persons with Special Medical Needs. These individuals require assistance during evacuations and sheltering. The Special Medical Needs Plan outlines the program and allocates the resources to meet those needs.

What is the definition of a special needs client?

A person qualifying for special needs is primarily someone medically dependent on electricity (i.e. electricity needed for life-support equipment), oxygen, or individuals with physical, cognitive, or medical conditions who may require basic assistance from medical professionals. Special needs clients may also include persons with regular need for assistance with medications and/or observation, dementia, chronic conditions that require assistance and persons with contagious health conditions that require minimal precautions or isolation (rare in shelter).

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Registration Process

Any person that meets the above criteria and plans to use a public shelter during an evacuation should register by filling out the form below well in advance or by contacting the Emergency Preparedness Office by phone (904) 255-3110.
Each individual's registration form is reviewed by a Health Care Professional and categorized by the assistance required. They are then assigned to a shelter or hospital and to the appropriate transportation agency, if applicable.
Individuals will be notified by mail with information regarding what to bring to the shelter.

Special Needs Video
Any person who meets the above criteria and plans to use a public shelter during an evacuation should register by filling out the form provided, by contacting the Emergency Preparedness Office by phone (630-CITY), online or by accessing the Emergency Preparedness website.
* A new registry is created each year starting in January. Each client must re-register every year to remain in the system.

List of Emergency Shelters Identified as Most Accessible to Persons with Disabilities

The City of Jacksonville has twenty-four (24) emergency shelters spread throughout its boundaries. This document is intended to inform persons with disabilities and their families as to the shelters that have the most accessible parking, exterior routes, entrances, interior routes and toilet facilities.

This web page is not a guarantee that any particular shelter will be opened in response to a particular event. The decision to open a shelter depends on many factors, including the type of the emergency, the scope of the emergency, and the proximity of the shelter to the persons affected. Prior to going to a shelter, you must check local media reports or call 630-CITY (630-2489) to confirm that a shelter has been opened and is available.

The shelters considered most accessible and available to persons with disabilities are:

  1. Legends Community Center (5130 Soutel Drive) (Jacksonville Northside)
  2. Westview K-8 School (5270 Connie Jean Road) (JacksonvilleWestside)
  3. LaVilla School of the Arts (501 North Davis Street) (Downtown) (Not for Special Needs)
  4. Oceanway Middle School (143 Oceanway Avenue) (Oceanway/Airport)
  5. Arlington Middle School (8141 Lone Star Road) (Arlington)
  6. Bartram Springs Elementary (14799 Bartram Springs Pkwy) (Southside/Mandarin)
  7. Chaffee Trail Elementary (11400 Sam Caruso Way) (Jacksonville Westside)
Please visit the City’s Emergency Preparedness website for additional information on emergency preparedness.

Not all shelters may be operational for a particular emergency. You must check local media reports or call 630-CITY (630-2489) before going to a shelter to verify whether it will be open and available. Thank you.

Download a pdf of the list of shelters considered most accessible for persons with disabilities (link leads to PDF document)

Additional Resources:

Just in Time Disaster Training Library - Hurricane Readiness for People with Disabilies

With over 1,800 disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery training videos the library offers comprehensive, easy to search, free internet based source for training curriculum for the public.

The library can be accessed at the following web site: