Ready NHC: Special Needs Registry

Do you have special medical or functional needs that would place you at higher risk during an emergency event? If you are on oxygen, have a physical disability that would make it difficult to evacuate, or have other special needs, you are strongly encourage to sign up for the Special Needs Registry as part of your Emergency Preparedness Plan.

It is important to plan ahead for disasters as resources can be very limited during an emergency. The Special Needs Registry helps county officials identify residents who may need additional assistance, and prepare resources to assist them in an emergency. Participation in the Special Needs Registry is completely voluntary. Information submitted is strictly confidential and will only be used in the event of an emergency. Learn more in the Special Needs Registry brochure.

Please note: the Special Needs Registry is NOT intended for individuals who live in long term care facilities, residential treatment facilities, or those who have comprehensive healthcare services provided by a home health agency. These providers are required by law to have plans in place to take care of their residents and clients in the event of an emergency. If you have questions about this process, please contact your facility manager or home healthcare provider. Visit the CMS website to learn more about the healthcare providers impacted by this law.

If you have questions about whether or not you should sign up for the registry, please call (910) 798-6400.

To sign up for the registry, complete the Special Needs Registry form (Spanish) and drop off or mail to:

New Hanover County Senior Resource Center
2222 S. College Rd.
Wilmington, NC 28403

If you have any questions about the Special Needs Registry, or need to update your information in the registry, call (910) 798-6400.


How is the Special Needs Registry information used?

  • Signing up for Special Needs Registry is completely voluntary. Information submitted is strictly confidential and will only be used in the event of an emergency.
  • 36 to 72 hours before an emergency situation is expected to affect our area, trained volunteers will call each person on the Special Needs Registry. The volunteer will review your Personal Disaster Plan with you, and will notify local officials if you are in need of additional assistance.
  • Learn more in the Special Needs Registry brochure and in the Oxygen Preparedness brochure.

The Special Needs Task Force is a group of health and adult service professionals who volunteer to assist individuals who may need extra help during emergency situations. Within the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), this group is referred to as the Individual Care Coordination Center (IC-3). The Special Needs Task Force volunteers:

  • Hold frequent meetings throughout the year to refine emergency preparedness plans and address any problems that may occur.
  • Evaluate resources and services available for individuals who may need additional assistance during an emergency due to physical, medical, or functional limitations.
  • Work with adult services agencies, home health nurses, and oxygen providers to help residents develop a disaster plan specific to their needs.
  • Coordinate with the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) volunteers to provide assistance to registered individuals in the event of an emergency.

The Special Needs Registry database is maintained by the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), located at the Senior Resource Center. RSVP volunteers keep all registry information confidential, and will only share your information with emergency responders in the event you need help evacuating or need other assistance during an emergency.

If you would like to volunteer to support the Special Needs Registry, please contact Allie Hernandez at (910) 798-6406 or email ahernandez@nhcgov.com.

Emergency Management: 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 115 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-6900 • Fax 910-798-6904