Baton Rouge – Special triage telephone lines will be opened at 12:00 p.m. to accept the calls of citizens with special needs who are evacuating in anticipation of Hurricane Rita. Citizens with special needs who are seeking shelter must call the telephone number in their area BEFORE attempting to access a shelter. These numbers are listed below.


Alexandria:                   800-841-5778             Shreveport:                   800-841-5776

Baton Rouge:               800-349-1372             Monroe:                       866-280-7287

Houma/Thibodaux:       800-228-9409             Slidell/Hammond:          985-871-1300

Lafayette:                     800-901-3210            

Lake Charles:               866-280-2711                        


New Orleans residents who anticipate the need for Special Needs Shelter services are asked to call theBaton Rouge number. Residents who anticipate the need for Special Needs Shelter services must call one of these numbers.

 Special Needs Shelters are not designed for the general public or for nursing home patients. Nursing homes in Louisiana are required to have emergency evacuation plans in place that ensure the health and safety of their residents. In most instances, these plans allow for homes in affected areas to transport their patients to nursing homes in areas safe from the storm.

 Health officials note that if individuals have health problems that require medical expertise and must evacuate, it is best for them to go with family members or caretakers to northern areas that are out of harm’s way. These shelters are staffed by Department of Health and Department of Social Services and will provide medical support services only. Because of limited staffing, those going to a Special Needs Shelter must have a caretaker to assist with ongoing support and they should bring all necessary supplies including sheets, blankets and pillows.