Hurricane Irma Puts SWFL's Special Needs Shelters to the Test

Thousand across Southwest Florida sought shelter during Hurricane Irma, but some residents with disabilities or acute medical conditions required special needs shelters. But many didn’t register in time, and as those shelters rapidly filled, some in need of that special care had little choice but to seek out other shelters.

Ben Abes, Lee County's deputy director of public safety and chief of the county's Emergency Medical Services, as well as Caitlyn Eck, the Preparedness Planner from the Florida Department of Health in Lee County, join Gulf Coast Live to discuss preparing for special needs during hurricanes like Irma, what the hurricane taught us about the need for and use of special needs shelters, and and how those with the greatest need can ensure they’re prepared when the next hurricane hits.

Registration materials for Lee County special needs shelters are available online. You can register for any county in the state online with Florida's State of Emergency Response Team.