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The Florida Senate

2004 Florida Statutes

Registry of persons with special needs; notice.
Section 252.355, Florida Statutes 2004

252.355  Registry of persons with special needs; notice.--

(1)  In order to meet the special needs of persons who would need assistance during evacuations and sheltering because of physical, mental, or sensory disabilities, each local emergency management agency in the state shall maintain a registry of persons with special needs located within the jurisdiction of the local agency. The registration shall identify those persons in need of assistance and plan for resource allocation to meet those identified needs. To assist the local emergency management agency in identifying such persons, the Department of Children and Family Services, Department of Health, Agency for Health Care Administration, 1Department of Labor and Employment Security, and Department of Elderly Affairs shall provide registration information to all of their special needs clients and to all incoming clients as a part of the intake process. The registry shall be updated annually. The registration program shall give persons with special needs the option of preauthorizing emergency response personnel to enter their homes during search and rescue operations if necessary to assure their safety and welfare following disasters.

(2)  On or before May 1 of each year each electric utility in the state shall annually notify residential customers in its service area of the availability of the registration program available through their local emergency management agency.

(3)  All records, data, information, correspondence, and communications relating to the registration of persons with special needs as provided in subsection (1) are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1), except that such information shall be available to other emergency response agencies, as determined by the local emergency management director.

(4)  All appropriate agencies and community-based service providers, including home health care providers, shall assist emergency management agencies by collecting registration information for persons with special needs as part of program intake processes, establishing programs to increase the awareness of the registration process, and educating clients about the procedures that may be necessary for their safety during disasters. Clients of state or federally funded service programs with physical, mental, or sensory disabilities who need assistance in evacuating, or when in shelters, must register as persons with special needs.

History.--ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, ch. 80-191; s. 18, ch. 83-334; s. 1, ch. 89-184; s. 85, ch. 90-360; s. 15, ch. 93-211; s. 107, ch. 96-406; s. 46, ch. 99-8; s. 10, ch. 2000-140.

1Note.--Section 69, ch. 2002-194, repealed s. 20.171, which created the Department of Labor and Employment Security.