Frequently Asked Questions

Be Aware and Be Prepared For All Potential Emergencies

Who should sign-up for the registry?
The Special Needs Registry is for those residents of Mobile County, AL who do not have any way to evacuate on their own. This is not a service for those who have reliable cars, can ride with a family member or friend, or are residents of nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

How can I register?
Residents who need the assistance can register on-line, by phone and by fax. On-line registration is available 24 ours per day, 7 days per week at To register by fax, download the printable form from the website and fax to UCP Mobile at (251) 479-4998. To register by phone, call UCP Mobile at 251-479-4900 or Independent Living Center at 251-460-0301Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM.

What does this service cost?
This service is provided through Volunteer Mobile and the Mobile County Emergency Management Agency. The service is free to residents of Mobile County.

If I register, what services will I get?
72 – 96 hours before anticipated landfall, you will receive an automated phone call alerting you to the impending storm and instructing you to verify your need for transportation assistance.

Once you verify your need for assistance, Mobile County Emergency Management will be notified.

Evacuations will be conducted by zones. Transportation will be provided to residents of the zones required to evacuate.

Due to time and limited resources to evacuate people with special needs, the evacuation process may be executed well in advance of an impending disaster. You must be ready to leave when told to do so by officials and your transportation arrives.

Can I request transportation to a specific shelter or another location such as a relative’s home?
No. All residents who use the Special Needs Evacuation Program will be transported to a general population shelter as directed by Mobile County Emergency Management.

Only those individuals who meet the criteria established by the Alabama Department of Public Health and who are accompanied by a caregiver will be admitted to a Medical Needs Shelter.

All evacuees must comply with the requirements of the shelters as determined by Mobile County Emergency Management, the American Red Cross, and the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Why do you need to know about medical conditions?
Only patients with specific conditions are admitted to the Medical Needs Shelter. By knowing in advance if you qualify for the Medical Needs Shelter, we can better plan your evacuation.

Why do you need to know about medical equipment?
In order to arrange appropriate transportation, we need to know what equipment you will need to take to the shelter. No medical equipment, supplies, or medications will be available at the Medical Needs Shelter or the General Population Shelter. You must bring them with you.

Does registering assure me a place at the Medical Needs Shelter?
No. This registry is for transportation only. Admittance to the Medical Needs Shelter is determined by the Mobile County Health Department. Space in the Medical Needs Shelter is very limited and only those with critical needs and meet the criteria of the Alabama Department of Public Health will be admitted.

Only one caregiver per patient will be admitted to the Medical Needs Shelter. If there are additional family members (including children) they must go to a general population shelter. Note: single parents must make adequate plans for all minor children as they will not be allowed to shelter with the caregiver nor will they be admitted to a general population shelter without adult supervision.

Can I register if I don’t have a computer?
Yes. You can register by phone, Monday through Friday, 8:30 – 4:30 by calling UCP Mobile at 251-479-4900 or Independent Living Center at 251-460-0301.

In addition, you can have someone with computer access submit your registration for you. A number of social service agencies throughout the community are registering their clients.

Is there a deadline for registration?
Registration is open now. We strongly encourage you to register as soon as possible.

To allow for time to notify registrants, registration is open until 72 hours prior to anticipated landfall. If you need assistance after registration closes, you must call 911.

Why does the registry not accept residents of nursing homes or assisted living facilities?
Alabama law requires nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have their own plans for the security of their residents in disasters. If you are a resident of a nursing home or assisted living facility, or have family members in one, contact the facility staff to inquire about their plans for you or your loved one’s care in a disaster.

Who can view my personal information?
The Special Needs Registry asks for personal information necessary to plan for your evacuation. This information is provided by you, voluntarily. The data is maintained by Volunteer Mobile and only staff at Volunteer Mobile, Mobile County Emergency Management, the Mobile County Health Department, and necessary local support agencies will have access to your information.

Names and identifying information included in the registry will not be shared or sold to any commercial entity.

Can I register someone else?
Yes, you can submit registration on behalf of someone else. However, you must complete the appropriate section on the form indicating you are completing the information for someone else.

How often should I register?
It is critical that registration information stays current including addresses, contact information and health status. Individuals are asked to register annually. Notifications to renew registration will be sent to all enrollees in March. Failure to re-register could remove you from the program.

Can I take my pets with me to the shelter?
At this time, transportation is not provided for pets. A pet shelter will be available; however it is the responsibility of the pet owner to take the pet to the shelter once it is opened.

This does not apply to service animals (Seeing Eye dogs).

Does registration assure that I will be transported to a shelter in any disaster?
The Special Needs Registry has been established to assist those who have no means of evacuating on their own move to a safe building during a disaster or emergency situation. Every effort will be made to transport all Registrants to shelters. However, because the County has limited resources to provide transportation, priority will be given to those who live in zones that are required or encouraged to evacuate.

What if I am asked to shelter-in-place?
In some emergencies, the best course of action is to remain at home or work until the situation has improved. If you are notified through the media to remain indoors or shelter-in-place, please cooperate. The registry will provide information to first responders to check on those individuals with serious health or medical needs, especially those who rely on medical devices and medications to survive.

The Special Needs Evacuation Registry is a program of UCP Mobile, Independent Living Center of Mobile, Mobile Association of the Blind and the Mobile Advisory Commission for the Disabled.

If you have additional questions, call UCP Mobile at (251) 479-4900.

Download the Complete
Evacuation Guide (.pdf document)

Choose a Language:


Copyright ©2011 Disaster Help Mobile