Thursday, October 11, 2007

Fairfax County Launches Special Needs Registry

(The following is from the Fairfax County Weekly Agenda - Oct 11th)

The online Special Needs Registry (www.fairfaxcounty.gov/specialneeds)
encompasses two distinct categories - the Medical Needs Registry and the Social Needs Registry. The registry is for residents with medical needs and organizations assisting those with social needs to provide Fairfax County with information so the county can communicate information about emergency preparedness, response and recovery resources to vulnerable, at-risk and hard-to-reach residents.

The Medical Needs Registry will contain the names and addresses of individuals with medical needs who have a high-risk health condition that is either temporary or chronic and who cannot manage for themselves in a shelter or evacuation center; will require assistance in performing the activities of daily living; and/or will require care for and the monitoring of a health condition.
The Medical Needs Registry is voluntary and all information collected will be kept confidential and stored on secure Fairfax County servers.

The Social Needs Registry is a tool used by Fairfax County to facilitate access to groups in need of specialized communications and/or transportation during an emergency. People with social needs are individuals who are vulnerable, at-risk or hard-to-reach in the event of an emergency but are not medically dependent. This includes people with disabilities, limited language proficiency, public transportation dependent and/or household pets and service animals. The nature of the assistance provided will be determined by the individual, the emergency and the resources available to the county. Organizations assisting those with special needs should register with Fairfax County to ensure the safety and well-being of these individuals in an emergency.

The registries may be used for any emergency requiring evacuation, such as flooding, hurricanes, hazardous material spills and gas leaks. The information in the registries will be available to emergency planners and will facilitate the county's preparedness, response and recovery efforts. However, those who are on the registry should still call 9-1-1 in the event of a life-threatening situation.

To register online, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/specialneeds Residents also may request registration materials and further information by phone or mail: call 703-324-9000, TTY 703-324-9001, or write to the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 565, Fairfax, VA 22035.

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