Health Department: Be strong. Be healthy. Be happy!

Kimberly Allbritton

Hello everyone and welcome to our first health department article. We hope to share health information on different topics every month in the health section. Please feel free to contact us if there is a topic that you would like us to address by calling (850) 342-0170, x1228, or by emailing Pam.Beck@flhealth.gov.

June 1 was the beginning of the 2018 hurricane season and we were given a preview of what could happen this year with the landfall of Tropical Storm Alberto.

Hurricanes and other natural and man-made disasters can present additional worries for people who have medical conditions. Health departments stand-up and run special needs shelters for those people whose medical needs meet our eligibility criteria.

Anyone in Jefferson County whose medical condition is too complex for a special needs shelter can get help with placement in a sound shelter environment by calling (850) 342-0211.

Eligibility criteria include those who need assistance with medication, observation by a health professional, electricity for life supporting medical equipment, basic nursing care and oxygen therapy.

If you or a loved one meet the criteria to be housed in a special needs shelter and have no other options for shelter during a disaster, it is a good idea to pre-register now so that we know to expect you. Pre-registration can be done by calling (850) 342-0211, or by completing an application online at snr.floridadisaster.org and choosing Jefferson County.

DOH-Jefferson partners with DOH-Leon to staff the special needs shelter in Tallahassee. We encourage all who go to the special needs shelter to bring a caregiver with them. Service animals are allowed in the special needs shelter but are the sole responsibility of the owner.

We would like to encourage all Jefferson County residents to have a plan for disasters and to include any medical prescriptions or equipment for yourself or your loved ones in that plan. Be healthy, be safe and stay tuned for our next article in July’s edition.