Special needs shelter opening in Walton County

A special needs shelter will open Tuesday afternoon in Freeport, Florida.
A special needs shelter will open Tuesday afternoon in Freeport, Florida.(FLORIDA DEPT. OF HEALTH - WALTON CO.)
Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 2:36 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (PRESS RELEASE) - The Florida Department of Health in Walton County (FDOH-Walton) will open a Special Needs Shelter at 5:00 PM today, September 15. The location is Freeport High School,located at 12615 US Hwy 331 Business in Freeport, FL.

“COVID-19 presents unique challenges with sheltering including the CDC social distancing and masks guidance with the need to have a special area and a dedicated team for COVID-19 special needs clients”, said Holly Holt, RN, BSN, MSM, Administrator and Health Officer for DOH-Walton. “All special needs shelter clients will complete a COVID-19 screening,and areas have been designated if clients are sick.”

To the extent possible under emergency conditions, the Special Needs Shelter will provide a safe sheltering environment and basic assistance to maintain your current level of health. Not all persons with a disability will require a Special Needs Shelter. The best place to shelter is with family or friends, in a safe structure, and outside of the evacuation area. You may be eligible for medical care at the shelter if:

•You have special medical needs but do not require hospitalization.

•You need assistance with basic everyday tasks.

•You have a chronic condition that requires assistance.

If you qualify for the Special Needs Shelter and decide to utilize that option, there are some important things to remember. Persons going to the Special Needs Shelter should have a caregiver. Shelters do not offer the comforts of home or a hotel. Often shelters are crowded, noisy, and offer very little privacy. You should bring:•A 30-day supply of medications.•Copies of prescriptions and their dosage.•All medical equipment and supplies required for a minimum of two weeks.

•Medical information including numbers for medical providers, home health agency, and copies of medical insurance cards.

•Personal information including photo ID, Social Security card, and emergency contacts.

•Any special dietary needs or food.

You can expect the following:

•Basic medical assistance and monitoring. Complex medical equipment or care is not available in special needs shelter.

•An area for you and your caregiver to sleep.

•Back-up electricityfor light and essential medical equipment.

Do Bring:


•Clothingincluding face covering

•Your emergency kit

•Snacks and water. If you want special food or snacks, you must bring it with you. Food must be non-perishable.You should have at least a 7-day supply.

Don’t Bring:

•Alcoholic beverages

•Illegal drugs


Service animals (for example, dogs or miniature horses) are allowed. Their care is the sole responsibility of the owner. Pets are also allowed. Please remember to bring supplies for your pets for at least 7days. This includes; carriers, crates, leashes, food, water, and vaccination records.

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