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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

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Special Needs Shelters

Emergency Preparedness

  •  321-690-6488

    Mailing Address

    2565 Judge Fran Jamieson Way 

    Viera, FL 32940 


What is a Special Needs Shelter? 

A Special Needs Shelter is a place to go, when you have no other sheltering option. It is a shelter of last resort and should only be used as a back-up to your personal sheltering plan.

A Special Needs Shelter provides more care and supervision than a general shelter to help meet your special needs during an evacuation.

To the extent possible under emergency conditions, the Special Needs Shelter will provide a safe sheltering environment and basic assistance to maintain your level of health.

Service animals are allowed. Their care is the responsibility of the owner.

Individuals who elect to use a Special Needs or other public shelter should bring with them items such as cots, bedding, medicine, medical supplies, and food supplies, preparing to be self-sufficient for 72 hours.

What Should I Expect? 

A Special Needs Shelter does not provide the comfort or convenience of a home or hotel, nor does it provide the level of care found in a medical facility.

A shelter may be in a school or other public facility. It may be crowded, noisy and boring.

You can expect the following:

  • Food and water. If you want or need special food, you must bring it with you. Food must be non-perishable.
  • Basic medical assistance and monitoring. Complex medical equipment or care is not available.
  • An area for you and your caregiver to sleep.
  • Back-up electricity for light and essential medical equipment.

What Do I Bring? 

Please review the Special Needs Shelter Checklist for a list of items to bring with you to a Special Needs Shelter.

Am I Eligible? The answer is "You may be" if: 

  • You have special medical needs but do not require hospitalization.
  • You cannot be accommodated in a regular shelter.
  • You need assistance with basic everyday tasks.
  • You have a chronic condition that requires assistance.

For a Special Needs Shelter Application or additional information, please call the Brevard County Office of Emergency Management at 321-637-6670 or visit