Medical Needs/Social Needs Registry Launched by Fairfax County

Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director of Public Affairs
703-324-3187, TTY 711, Fax 703-324-2010
Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)

Sept. 27, 2007

Medical Needs/Social Needs Registry Launched by Fairfax County

Fairfax County launched the Special Needs Registry this week as part of National Preparedness Month activities. The registry has two distinct categories: the Medical Needs Registry and the Social Needs Registry. The online registry is intended to allow residents with medical needs and organizations assisting those with social needs to provide Fairfax County with information so that the county can communicate information about emergency preparedness, response and recovery resources to vulnerable, at-risk and hard-to-reach residents.

  • The Medical Needs Registry will contain the names and addresses of individuals with medical needs who have a high-risk health condition that is either temporary or chronic and who cannot manage for themselves in a shelter or evacuation center; will require assistance in performing the activities of daily living; and/or will require care for and the monitoring of a health condition.  The Medical Needs Registry is voluntary and all information collected will be kept confidential and stored on secure Fairfax County servers.

  • The Social Needs Registry is a tool used by Fairfax County to facilitate access to groups in need of specialized communications and/or transportation during an emergency. People with social needs are individuals who are vulnerable, at-risk or hard-to-reach in the event of an emergency but are not medically dependent. This includes people with disabilities, limited language proficiency, public transportation dependent and/or household pets and service animals. The nature of the assistance provided to those people will be determined by the individual, the emergency and the resources available to the county. Organizations assisting those with special needs should register with Fairfax County to ensure the safety and well-being of these individuals in an emergency.

The registry may be used for any emergency requiring evacuation, such as flooding, hurricanes, hazardous material spills and gas leaks. This information will be available to emergency planners and will facilitate the county's preparedness, response and recovery efforts. However, those who are on the registry should still call 9-1-1 in the event of a life-threatening situation.

“In addition to registering, we also encourage individuals and families to have emergency plans and emergency preparedness kits in place,” said John Hudson, special needs coordinator with the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management. Your emergency kit should include a three-day supply of food and water, flashlight, extra batteries, medications, in addition to other items that might be needed. Residents with medical needs also should make preparations and have a plan to be self-reliant for three days.

During a major crisis or emergency, Fairfax County uses the award winning Community Emergency Alert Network (CEAN) to deliver important emergency alerts, notifications and updates. Fairfax County government offers the Medical Needs Registry, the Social Needs Registry and the CEAN as a public service. The registry and CEAN will be used in conjunction with other public notification methods such as Fairfax County Government Channel 16, the Fairfax County Web site, the Fairfax County Emergency Information Line (703-817-7771, TTY 711) and area media.

To register online visit Residents may also request registration materials by phone or mail. Call 703-324-9000, TTY 703-324-9001, or write to the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 565, Fairfax, VA 22035 for more information.


For more news and information, visit

Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs, services and activities. To request this information in an alternate format, call the Office of Public Affairs at 703-324-3187, TTY 711.

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