Individuals with disabilities or certain medical conditions sometimes need a little more help when faced with unsafe or life-threatening conditions. Rapid and easy mobility may be difficult. High anxiety may cause a breakdown in the ability to successfully communicate. The nature of the disability may prevent the individual from driving or having adequate transportation. Medical fragility may require dependence on oxygen or other necessities.
You might want to ask yourself:
- Does your loved one have autism or an intellectual or developmental disability?
- Does he or she have a physical disability that makes rapid and easy mobility difficult?
- Is your loved one prone to wandering, or does he elope or escape?
- Does he or she have difficulty communicating?
- Blind or deaf?
- Medically fragile?
- Struggling with Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia?
- Does his or her emotional condition or anxiety level hinder quick decision making in a dangerous situation?
If the answer to any of these questions is “Yes,” you might want to consider registering your loved one in an emergency registry. All three counties in Southern Maryland offer voluntary emergency registration for individuals with special needs by parents or caregivers who want police officers, first responders, emergency communications centers and dispatch units to have a little more information when it comes to assisting their loved ones in disaster evacuation, response to a fire, emergency planning, response to a crime scene, etc.
In the event of a disaster – fire, flood, hurricane, severe storm, blizzard or ice storm, nuclear or gas plant catastrophe, military catastrophe – you want your loved ones to be protected and safe. Voluntary registration gives emergency dispatches, police and first responders relevant information that may aid in saving your loved one’s life and enhancing their well-being. Registration in these county registries are free. Register in the county of residence by following the instructions below.
A problem unique to individuals with autism is their tendency to wander. Up to half of all children with autism will wander away or escape from their school, parents or caregivers at least once, and several will wander every week. Unfortunately, this wandering and elopement can have tragic consequences. Read more about wandering and elopement and what you can do about it on our Wandering, Emergencies, and Resources page, HERE!
Registration is available in person or via mail. Special needs registration for assistance in emergency evacuation is done through the Department of Public Safety, Emergency Management Division. Please print out and complete Calvert County Emer Mgmt Special Needs Registry Form.
Registry for entry in the emergency computer dispatch system to assist law enforcement and first responders is done through the Emergency Communications Division. Please print out and complete the Calvert County Emer Comm Dispatch Form.
For questions, contact Kim Gott at or call 410-535-1600, ext. 2638 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Residents of Charles County: As of May 2017, there is no publicly-accessible registry database or form that families can fill out. Information for individuals is taken in on a case by case basis.
Families can contact the Department of Emergency Services at 301-609-3499 or 301-609-3400 for more information; their website is http://www.charlescountymd.gov/es/welcome
ST. MARY’S COUNTY
Registration is available online to assist dispatch units, law enforcement and first responders, and emergency planners in evacuation planning. Please register directly at the website http://www.stmarysmd.com/est/functionalneeds.asp
For questions, contact Bob Kelly, St. Mary’s County Emergency Services, at 301-475-4200 ext 2124 or EMA@stmarysmd.com
Flyer for Functional Needs registration: functional-needs-emergency-services-registry-flyer-ver-2
All three counties in Southern Maryland, as well as several departments throughout Maryland and nationwide, participate in Project Lifesaver. Project Lifesaver is a personal tracking system used to aid in locating individuals prone to wandering or who may be unable to assist in their own rescue due to lack or loss of intellectual function, such as those suffering from autism, Alzheimer’s, Down’s Syndrome, and intellectual and other disorders.
Project Lifesaver uses watch-sized transmitters for tracking by trained personnel with receivers. Having a transmitter can be valuable in pinpointing where first responders need to search, and transmitters are maintained regularly. For more information, contact your local Sheriff’s Office. Program participation is free.
In St. Mary’s County contact Cpl. Patrick Handy at at 301-475-4200 x*8023 or Patrick.Handy@stmarysmd.com, Cpl. William Rishel at 301-475-4200 x*8097 or William.Rishel@stmarysmd.com, or go to the Sheriff’s Office Project Lifesaver web page at https://www.firstsheriff.com/programs.asp
In Charles County contact Community Services at 301-932-3080 or go to https://www.ccso.us/project-lifesaver/
In Calvert County contact Tunya Taylor, Client Services Manager, at the Office on Aging at 410-535-4606 or visit the OOA website at http://www.co.cal.md.us/index.aspx?NID=113
If you live in another area of the state, contact your Sheriff’s Office or Police Department to see if they participate. For more information on Project Lifesaver, or to donate, go to http://www.projectlifesaver.org/
Please check out our resources on our Wandering, Emergencies and Resources page HERE for more information on how to plan to help your child be safe, provide additional information for families, babysitters, caregivers, schools and law enforcement, and how to get registered on a regional and national level.