Always check the news media as well as county emergency management online pages to determine which evacuation centers are open during an emergency. Depending on the county, they may not all be open at the same time.
All evacuation centers allow pets except special needs shelters where only service animals are allowed. This year, Neil Armstrong Elementary School was added as a center and Port Charlotte Middle School was eliminated as an option.
• Kingsway Elementary School, 23300 Quasar Blvd., Port Charlotte.
• Liberty Elementary school, 370 Atwater St., Port Charlotte.
• Neil Armstrong Elementary School, 22100 Breezeswept Ave. Port Charlotte.
After the hurricane, Charlotte County may set up locations where residents can access information via public computers, charge their mobile phones or tablets and access free public WiFi.
•Atwater Elementary School,4701 Huntsville Ave., North Port
•Heron Creek Middle School,6501 W. Price Blvd., North Port
•North Port High School, 6400 W. Price Blvd., North Port
•Woodland Middle School, 2700 Panacea Blvd., North Port
Sarasota County Emergency Management, www.scgov.net or by calling the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000.
All evacuation centers allow pets (dogs and cats, other arrangements must be made for other animals.)
Booker High School 3201 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota
Brookside Middle School 3636 S. Shade Ave., Sarasota
Fruitville Elementary School, 601 Honore Ave., Sarasota
Gulf Gate Elementary School 6500 S. Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota
Phillippi Shores Elementary 4747 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
Riverview High School 1 Ram Way, Sarasota
Southside Elementary School 1901 Webber St., Sarasota
Sarasota County Emergency Management can be reached via www.scgov.net or by calling the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000.
DeSoto County no longer uses DeSoto County Middle school as a general population evacuation center.
•DeSoto County Public Evacuation Center: DeSoto County Turner Agri-Civic Center, 2250 N.E. Roan Street, Arcadia. This is the first year a pet-friendly shelter also will be located at the center.
•Special Needs Shelter: Applicants must register to use this shelter. South Florida State College, 2251 N.E. Turner Avenue, Arcadia
For more information: desotobocc.com
If you do go to a shelter, take these items with you:
• Pillows, blankets, air mattresses and sleeping bags.
• Extra clothing, shoes and eyewear.
• Medication for you and your pet if you bring one.
• Cellphone chargers.
• Personal hygiene items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, toilet paper, towels and soap.
• Important papers, especially those proving residency, in waterproof containers.
• Pet supplies, if you’re going to a pet-friendly shelter (not all of them are): food, water, and clean-up bags.
Special needs shelters are available for those individuals that require medical assistance that is not available at a public shelter. Only basic medical assistance and monitoring will be available.
•Oxygen will be provided to those persons who require it.
•All persons must be accompanied by a caregiver and provide their own bedding, food, water, medications, and transfer oxygen devices.
•No pets are allowed unless they are a service animal.
•All service animals must have vaccination records and be caged. You must also provide their food, water, leash, and litter box.
•Any person with conditions that cannot be cared for in the special needs shelter must be admitted to a hospital and arrangements should be made prior via your personal physician before June 1.
•The Florida Division of Emergency Management, in coordination with each local emergency management agency in the state, developed a registry to allow residents with special needs to register with their local emergency management agency to receive assistance during a disaster. Visit snr.floridadisaster.org