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Residents in need of assistance urged to sign up with County Hurricane Registry
Hurricane file photo

Special to the Effingham Herald


SPRINGFIELD – The Effingham County Hurricane Registry is undoubtedly missing names that need to be on it.

The Hurricane Registry is a list maintained by the health departments in the eight Georgia counties of the Coastal Health District. The list includes residents with certain health conditions who may need transportation or medical assistance and have no resources such as family members, neighbors, or friends to help them evacuate if a hurricane is threatening.

“I’ve only have six people on our list right now,” said Cindy Grovenstein, nurse manager at the Effingham County Health Department, during the Effingham Family Connection meeting at the Effingham Health System Administrative Complex on June 8.

The time to apply for the registry is when no storms are approaching. Applications stop being accepted 72 hours prior to the arrival of tropical force winds.

Hurricane season is June 1-Nov. 30 but the registry is open all year long.

“It is important if you know someone who needs such assistance to get on the list early,” Grovenstein said.

Anyone who lives in a nursing home or personal care facility isn't eligible and most follow their institution’s emergency plan.

Those on the registry without special medical needs will be kept at one of the state’s technical colleges during a hurricane, Grovenstein said. The Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth will be used to house residents who depend on special services and equipment, she added.

Registrants with functional or access needs may include children or adults with physical, sensory or intellectual disabilities who need assistance with the activities of daily living, such as: eating, taking medications, dressing, bathing, communicating, mobility issues, and using the toilet.

Grovenstein mentioned that some folks scoff at the possibility of Effingham County having to evacuate because of a storm. She noted, however, that it happened in 1999 with Hurricane Floyd, which triggered a call for 2.6 million people in five states to leave their homes.

To apply for the hurricane registry, residents should call toll-free, 1-833-CHD-REGISTER (1-833-243-7344). A representative will take some basic information and then the Effingham County Health Department will follow up to complete the process.

The Effingham County Health Department is located at 802 Ga. Hwy. 119 South, Springfield. For more information, call 912-754-6484.