Special Medical Needs
It’s time to plan for the worst and pray for the best outcome if/when we hear of a hurricane possibly heading our way. As most of you know by now, the Clubhouse, has many uses. One of them is a Hurricane Shelter for Tanglewood residents. I’ve been told, it was built to withstand a Category 4 Hurricane. Those who were here in 2017 will gladly tell you their story of what happened to them when Hurricane Irma, a Catagory 4, decided to zip up the middle of the state and rest her eye on Sebring throughout the night.
Special Needs Care Unavailable Here
Over 200 residents were inside the building the first 24 hours. The Clubhouse had lost power from the storm, but HTA had a back up generator. That too, after running continuously for hours, stopped working. It became a life or death situation for some residents. Those needing to wear Bi-Pap or C-Pap, were unable to use them. Oxygen tanks were running very low with no replacement. Those unable to care for themselves at home, but were brought to the clubhouse shelter had ‘Special Needs’ that the clubhouse did not provide.
However, Each year with the threat of a hurricane, Highlands County prepares several designated buildings as ‘Special Needs Shelters’, with qualified nursing staff, dialysis transfusion machines, Oxygen tanks, and the staff to give proper care. They will even come to your house to pick you up at a designated time before the storm is expected to hit. The county requires a form be filled out ‘ahead of time’. We have those forms in the clear slots on the main credenza inside the clubhouse. It has three pages of information they want from you to determine which Special Needs facility would best suit your needs.
Please take a form if you know of a neighbor in need, and possibly help them fill out the form. After it is completely filled out and signed by the resident in need, (if possible), submit (mailed or hand delivered) the forms to the address listed below. It is also on the form at the top of the first page. I would also advise, if possible, to copy those forms after completion in case they ‘get lost’ in the mail. You will be notified of your acceptance and can ask more questions of them at that time.
Highlands County Heath Department Special Needs Shelter 7205 South George Blvd. Sebring FL. 33875-5847