Those with medical needs urged to register for help in case of hurricane evacuation.
Memories of Hurricane Matthew don’t seem too far away for many in coastal Georgia. Some people are still dealing with trying to fix damage to their homes while others remember having to leave their homes for a safer place several counties away.
Now the Chatham County Health Department and CEMA (Chatham County Emergency Management Agency) are joining forces to remind those with medical needs that this is the time to sign up for a medical registry that can assist you should you need to evacuate. By calling CEMA or your local health department you can speak with someone who will assess whether any medical or physical needs will allow you to qualify to be on the registry list. If you do qualify and there is a hurricane event where an evacuation is ordered, transportation will be provided to you. The registry will allow authorities to contact you and provide a ride to a staging area (in Savannah that is the Civic Center) where transportation will then take you out of town to higher ground.
“The purpose of the registry is so we can determine who they are and where they are and when a hurricane or other natural disaster is coming our way, then we reach out to them,” says Mike Pitts of the Chatham County Health Department. “We will contact them let them know when evacuation is taking place and what time they’re going to be picked up,” Mike Pitts, Chatham County Health District, ”
Chelsea Sawyer from CEMA told us the “main thing that we’re trying to do is get people to know and be aware the registry exists. We want to be sure that people know that there is a way for them to evacuate safely and still have everything that they would need and everything that’s comfortable for them like they would have at home. So if they need oxygen or if they have some physical disabilities that are going to prevent them from evacuating. We want to make sure that they know that this registry is available and there is a way for them to get to a safe place.”
Officials tell us there are eligibility requirements but residents who think they may qualify are encouraged to make contact and find out. An application can be downloaded here.
You can also call for more information:
Bryan County: 912-756-2611 or 912-653-4331
Camden County: 912-882-8515 or 912-576-3040
Chatham County: 912-691-7443
Effingham County: 912-754-6484
Glynn County: 912-279-2940
Liberty County: 912-876-2173
Long County: 912-545-2107
McIntosh County: 912-832-5473