Yesterday, I attended a Persons with Disabilities Assessment Project, Emergency Preparedness Workshop at Cocoa Library. Chip Wilson, Statewide Disability Coordinator for Emergency Services was the main speaker.   While Mr.  Wilson was interesting and even entertaining.  His presentation was pretty rudimentary.  Here are the things I gleaned from Mr. Wilson:

1)  Have a plan.

2)  Implement your plan.

3)  Contact anyone who needs to know your plan.

4)  Both public and private emergency shelters must be wheelchair accessible and open to the general public.

If you have any questions regarding accessible emergency shelters you can contact Chip Wilson at 850-413 9892.  His cell phone number is 850 264 4705. 

These are some of the things I learned from the Brevard County workers that were new to me:

1)  You must register each year for Special Needs Shelter placement. 

2)  To obtain a registration form, you can go to this link, or call Lacie Davis at (321) 637-6670.  

3)  You must register each year for Special Needs Transportation to a General Shelter or a Special Needs Shelter. 

4)  The Special Needs Transportation request is on the Special Needs Shelter request.  Again, here is the link. 

5)  You can get Special Needs Transportation FROM the shelter, ONLY if you had Special Needs Transportation TO the shelter.  Therefore, if your independent living coach or your parent or agency person takes you to the shelter, they must bring you home from the shelter. 

6)  NOTE to supported living coaches:  If you take a person to shelter, they cannot get home on the SCAT bus or with other public transportation.  You must provide them with transportation home from the shelter.

7)  Special Needs Shelters are for medically fragile people.  You will not be accepted into a Special Needs Shelter, unless you are medically fragile.

8)  Cots are not provided in general public shelters.  Bring your own bedding (including a cot, if you need it.) 

9)  It is still an APD requirement that an independent living person be accompanied to any shelter with a companion.  The person who will accompany your consumer should be part of their Emergency Preparation Plan.  Supported-living coaches or support coordinators should insure that this companion cost is included in the Support Plan.

7) If you have any questions regarding this, call 211.  This is an excellent resource hotline.  These volunteers are knowledgeable and they can get you in contact with the person to whom you need to talk.

Interesting sidebar, there was only one support coordinator and two independent living coaches who attending this meeting.