Hurricane season is HERE and the time to prepare is now. Health department officials in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties strongly encourage residents who have certain healthcare needs and no way to evacuate if a storm is coming to apply to the Hurricane Registry for those with functional, access, or medical needs.
The Hurricane Registry for those with functional, access, or medical needs 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 toll-free, 1-833-CHD-REGISTER (1-833-243-7344) and following the phone prompts which will connect them directly with their county health department. The application can also be downloaded at gachd.org/registry. Residents who meet criteria and get on the Registry will be evacuated when there is serious threat of a 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 so 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 which will likely be located several hours inland.
Anyone who lives in a nursing home, assisted living, or personal care facility is not eligible for the registry and must follow their facility’s emergency plan. The Registry is truly 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. It is important to note that 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.