Step 1: Register for Federal, State, and County Services

This section includes materials that will enable you to develop a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan that incorporates critical elements specific to people living with SCI. We review special considerations that should be made when preparing emergency kits, transportation arrangements, evacuation plans, and more. Later, we provide resources specific to Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties.

Some General Tips:

  • Start planning as early as possible.
  • Practice evacuation plans with yourself, your caregiver, and/or family members.
  • Stay informed. Find out if you live in an evacuation zone and keep up with real time updates during an emergency event.
  • Communication is key. It is highly encouraged that you consult with your physician, caregiver, and/or family members to develop the best plan in the case of an emergency

General Registries

Below are links to governmental registries and other useful public resources:

The Florida Special Needs Registry will help you to receive important information from local emergency management officials about evacuation and sheltering options available to you. It also enables government officials to plan better for all of those who need special services.

Also, each county has established their own emergency programs for residents with special medical needs, such as SCI, amongst others. These programs may include services such as special needs sheltering, transportation, and assistance programs.

Importantly, not all programs operate at the same level of capacity as others. Please make sure to reference the later chapters in this packet to learn more about our recommendations, terms of eligibility, the application process, and what services are specifically offered by your county.

Florida Electricity Utility Registry

If you receive services by Florida Power & Light (FPL), consider applying for their Medically Essential Service.

Register for FPL MES

Terms of Eligibility: Any FPL residential customer whose electric service is medically essential and if that medical condition has been certified by a physician licensed to practice in Florida. Electric service is considered essential if you are dependent on electric-powered equipment as specified by a physician to avoid: Loss of life and/or serious medical complications requiring immediate hospitalization.

Services provided:

  • Special notices before and after a hurricane
  • Special notices before electrical service is disconnected for non-payment
  • Referrals to social-service agencies that provide financial assistance
  • Note that this does not guarantee uninterrupted service or provide an exemption from paying electric bills. You will still be responsible for backup equipment and power supply in the event of power outages.

Be sure to have your physician complete the Physician’s Certificate included in the application.

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