Even though Hurricane Matthew was not a overly large storm, it came very close – close enough to do a lot of damage to coastal Georgia. When it comes to hurricanes weather experts agree that it’s only a matter of time before Georgia gets hit by a major storm. That’s why health department officials encourage residents in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties who qualify to apply to the Functional, Access, and Medical Needs Registry. Residents should plan ahead and apply to be on the Registry BEFORE a storm is threatening our area.
How the Functional, Access, and Medical Needs Registry Works
All Coastal Health District health departments maintain the Registry which is made up of residents who may require transport and medical assistance during a hurricane evacuation and have no other resources such as family, friends, neighbors, or church members to help them if they need to evacuate. Residents must apply to be on the registry.
Those on the Registry will be evacuated to an American Red Cross shelter (not a hotel) that will likely be in a gymnasium or similar setting. The Registry is truly a last resort, but if a hurricane is threatening our area, it is important local Emergency Management Agency and health department officials know where the most vulnerable residents are located so that evacuation assistance can be provided to them. It is important to note that people living in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and personal care homes are not eligible for the Functional, Access, and Medical Needs Registry and must follow their facility’s emergency plan.
Functional and Access needs registrants/clients are defined as those individuals who may need services to maintain their independence in a shelter. This includes children and adults with physical, sensory, mental health, and cognitive and/or intellectual disabilities affecting their ability to function independently without assistance. Others may include women in late stages of pregnancy, elders, and people needing bariatric equipment.
Medical needs registrants/clients are defined as those individuals who require support of trained medical professionals. This includes those individuals who may need assistance with managing unstable, terminal, or contagious conditions that require observation and ongoing treatment.
How to Apply
For more information contact your local health department, or download the Functional, Access, and Medical Needs Registration and Consent form and the Protected Health Information authorization forms here:
Functional & Access & Medical Needs Form (Word document)
Functional & Access & Medical Needs Form (PDF document)
Protected Health Information Authorization Form
Mail the completed documents to the following address in your county of residence or call for more information.
If a storm is approaching, do not mail the application. Please call the health department directly.
Bryan County Health Dept.
ATTN: Joanne Burnsed
P. O. Box 9
Pembroke, GA 31321-0009
(912-653-4331 or 912-756-2611)
Effingham County Health Dept.
ATTN: Cindy Grovenstein
P.O. Box 350
Springfield, GA 31329
Camden County Health Dept.
ATTN: Mallory Chappell
905 Dilworth St.
St. Marys, GA 31558
(912-576-3040 or 912-882-8515)
In Chatham County please send to:
Chatham County Health Department
1395 Eisenhower Drive
Savannah, GA 31406
Glynn County Environmental Health
ATTN: Donna Holmes
1725 Reynolds Street, Box 105
Brunswick, GA 31520
Liberty County Health Dept.
ATTN: Angela Hartley
P.O. Box 231
Hinesville, GA 31310
Long County Health Dept.
ATTN: Functional/Medical Needs Coordinator
P.O. Box 279
Ludowici, GA 31316
McIntosh County Health Dept.
ATTN: Brooke Deverger
P.O. Box 231
Townsend, GA 31331
Evacuation Kit Items for Functional & Access & Medical Needs Registry Clients
Download a list of items that functional and medical needs clients should bring with them in the event of an evacuation
Functional & Access & Medical Needs Evacuation Kit (Word document):
Download a list of items that functional and medical needs clients should bring with them in the event of an evacuation Functional & Access & Medical Needs Evacuation Kit (PDF)