Hendry County Emergency Management - Emergency Shelters

 

HENDRY COUNTY, as well as the greater Southwest Florida region, is experiencing a shelter deficit. If you have a safe place to evacuate to, plan to use your alternate location rather than a public shelter. The best plan is to identify a location out of the area (e.g. a friend’s home or hotel).  Shelters offer only basic life sustaining necessities.  Shelters are not able to provide any conveniences or luxuries.  They are not hotels! The electricity could go out during part of your stay in the shelter.  BUT, if you have no safe place to go, shel­ters will be open!

Service Animals are allowed in all shelters.  "Service Animals" are defined as a dog or miniature horse that is trained to perform a service or task for their owners, and are not pets.

EMERGENCY PUBLIC SHELTER:

A shelter is a safe place to be during an emergency. However, it offers only the basic life-sustaining necessities, such as shelter from the weather; water and food; and sanitary services. The shelter will likely not have electricity for the majority of your stay. It will be noisy, crowded and somewhat uncomfortable. In a storm of similar size to those we have experienced here the past few decades, each person will be assigned 20 square feet of space to sleep and keep your things. In the event we are faced with a catastrophic storm, we will be focused on life safety and will bring into the shelter all those seeking refuge from the storm, reducing individual space allowance for a period of time.

Be sure the shelter is open before you go.  When you arrive, register with shelter staff.   Having a positive attitude will be helpful to everyone.  If you leave the shelter, check out with the shelter staff.  Accountability is important for your safety.  All listed shelters will not be open for every storm. Local radio and television stations will announce which shelters are open. We cannot predict how long you may have to remain at the shelter, since we cannot predict how damaging the effects of each storm will be.  

Food and water may be available, but there may be a slight delay in initial service so you should be prepared to bring a minimum of a 72 hour supply to carry you through the initial part of the evacuation.  If you want or need special food items, bring them with you as well! If you have diet restrictions or require specialty foods, you must bring those with you when you report to the shelter.  

You must bring your own personal hygiene items, sleeping bags/cots, blankets, towels and comfort items to the shelter. Remember, being considerate of others and having a positive attitude will be helpful to everyone concerned, shelter volunteers are doing their best to accomodate the needs of everyone. Listen for official information and do not participate in gossip or rumors, which can be very disruptive. Volunteer to help whenever possible.

 

 

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WHAT TO BRING TO A SHELTER

  • Three-day supply of water per person (i.e., three-gallons per person)
  • Prescription medicines and emergency medications; you must be able to take all medications by yourself
  • Special-diet foods (e.g., snacks and juices for those with dietary restrictions or allergies)

  • Basic snacks
  • Bedding materials (e.g., pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, cots, air mattresses, etc.) – cots will not be provided
  • Comfortable clothing (at least two changes)
  • Collapsible/folding beach chair or camp chair
  • Baby food, formula, bottles, diapers, blankets, & clothes
  • Flashlight, extra batteries
  • Cellphone, with a battery-operated charger
  • Radio with extra batteries and headphones
  • Important documents (e.g., identification, medical records, insurance information, deeds or leases, birth certificates and utility bills showing your home address) – these documents are not required but will be helpful after an emergency
  • Photocopies of valuable documents
  • Eyeglasses, hearing aids, dentures
  • Toiletries and personal hygiene items (e.g., washcloth and/or towelettes, small towel, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, sanitary napkins, tampons, paper towels, toilet paper, etc.)
  • Quiet games, books, playing cards, favorite toys, or other items for entertainment
  • Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled
  • Chargers/cables for any electronic devices you bring with you – functional electric outlets are limited in shelters
       

 

Weapons, Smoking and Alcoholic Beverages are PROHIBITED at all shelters.