Special Care: Elders, special needs residents

Those with special needs need to take special care during Hurricane Season. A special shelter stands by ready for assistance. The goal of the Special Needs Shelter Program in Indian River County is to provide a safe place for persons requiring medical assistance to temporarily shelter during an evacuation from either a man-made or natural disaster, rather than inundating local hospitals with a large number of people that a specially equipped and staffed shelter could adequately handle.


The focus of the Special Needs Shelter is the medical support and care of persons who require special care during an evacuation at a shelter, such as but not limited to: Dialysis, Oxygen dependent, Nebulizer and Hospice patients.

Registration is required for entrance into the Special Needs Shelter. There are some limitations, specifically those patients with unstable medical conditions, citizens living in adult living facilities or nursing homes. These facilities are required to have emergency evacuation plans for their residents.

This facility, is designed for the handicapped, and has an adequate space capacity for the Special Needs citizens of our county.

The Special Needs Shelter is located at the Treasure Coast Elementary School located on County Road 510 – just east of the Sebastian River High School. The address is 8955 85th Street, Sebastian, Florida, 32958.

As with any shelter, individuals who plan on utilizing the Special Needs facility must provide their own bedding, medications and supplies to the best of their ability.

Supplies would include oxygen equipment, linens, pillows, blankets, chairs, medical supplies, medications, and any other personal items to make the stay as comfortable as possible.

Drinking water and any non-perishable food items are also encouraged. Any special dietary foods required by a special care evacuee will be his/her responsibility. Assistance from the parking area into the Special Needs Shelter will be available.

Items such as emergency oxygen equipment, first aid supplies, and advanced life support medications and equipment will be provided by the Division of Emergency Medical Services.

If you are unsure of whether to evacuate to a regular public shelter or to the Special Needs Shelter, please do not hesitate to call for detailed information.

If you would like to receive a registration application or if you require additional information on hurricanes, please contact the Division of Emergency Management at (772) 567-2154.


Individuals needing transportation to a Regular Shelter or the Special Needs Shelter, must register with the Special Needs program prior to hurricane season. There are no guaranteed pick ups for last minute transportation requests once an evacuation order has been issued.


Regular public shelters available under emergency conditions will accept anyone who is self-sufficient and needs no outside professional assistance in performing activities of daily living. Individuals not meeting that criteria will either be referred to the Special Needs Shelter or to an appropriate health care facility.

The regular public shelters will have nursing personnel and volunteers to assist evacuees from the time of arrival at the shelter. Individuals with decreased mobility but no additional medical problems will be provided for in a regular shelter.

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