HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Hanover County Department of Social Services has announced it will begin to gather a list of names and contact information for people who have disabilities to help prioritize assistance in the event of a natural disaster or emergency situation, such as a tropical storm, a hurricane, flooding or an earthquake.

Those with disabilities and special needs are encouraged to submit their personal and contact information to the department on their own behalf, or ask a certified official or caregiver with explicit authorization to do so. If the person with disabilities is a minor child, then their parents are responsible for providing the information.

The department said in a release that it hopes the information collected will allow the county to plan for the transportation needs of anyone who is bedridden, in a wheelchair or has limited mobility, is hard of hearing and dependent on paid caretakers or mechanical devices during an emergency event.

According to the department, submitting this information is not a requirement, but a suggestion.

The personal and contact information of residents with disabilities will be maintained by the department. The information may also be shared with Fire/EMS, the county’s Health Department, the Transportation Department for Hanover County Public Schools, emergency management partner agencies and organizations such as the Red Cross when necessary and appropriate, the department’s release read.

Anyone who wishes to learn more about this process or has questions is asked to call the Hanover Department of Social Services at 804-365-4104.