Longboat Key Fire Rescue Chief Paul Dezzi is urging people with special needs to participate in an emergency evacuation-assistance program if island residents are asked to evacuate this year due to a hurricane.
The town of Longboat Key is partnering with Manatee County and Sarasota County to provide additional help to citizens requiring evacuation assistance due to a medical condition or limited mobility.
Residents with those types of issues need to register with the People with Special Needs (PSN) Program in the county where they reside.
To register in Sarasota County, island residents can call 861-5000 or visit www.co.sarasota.fl.us/emergencyservices/HurricanePrep/specialneeds.asp.
To register in Manatee County, island residents can call 749-3500, Ext. 1667 or visit www.mymanatee.org/home/government/departments/public-safety/emergency-management/special-needs.html.
Registration for the program is voluntary, and a letter will be mailed to residents once they qualify for the program.
Once registered, during an evacuation, a PSN Program operator will notify those residents when an evacuation order has been issued, confirm current medical needs and transportation information and coordinate a time for Longboat Key Fire Rescue and county personnel to assist residents in getting off the island.
Dezzi is urging residents who need additional help to register now in the county in which they live in and not to wait before a hurricane begins to approach the island.
Residents can call Longboat Key Fire Rescue with any questions at 316-1945.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].