Know your zone: Shelters to seek in case of evacuations


With Irma now a category 5 hurricane, officials have released zone and shelter information for South Florida residents.

Palm Beach County

UPDATE: As of 11 a.m. there are 31,726 spots available in shelters

Lake Shore and Pahokee Middle schools have been closed due to safety reasons, city officials said. Evacuees were taken to Seminole Ridge and John I. Leonard High Schools the Palm Tran and the school district.

Independence Middle School and Westgate Elementary School are now at full capacity along with Forest Hill High School and Seminole Ridge High School.


The available shelters are open and listed as follows:

  • Atlantic High School-Largest shelter, plenty of room as of 11 a.m.
  • Bethune Elementary School
  • Boca Raton High School
  • Boynton Beach High School
  • Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Cookman Elementary School
  • Forest Hill High School IS FULL
  • John I. Leonard High School
  • Palm Beach Central High School
  • Palm Beach Gardens High School
  • Seminole Ridge High School IS FULL
  • West Boca High School

A pet friendly shelter at the West Boynton Recreation Center, 6000 Northtree Boulevard, Lake Worth, FL 33463 and is only available to Palm Beach County residents who reside in a mandatory evacuation zone, in a mobile home, or in sub-standard housing. Proof of residency will be required.

County officials say each pet must be accompanied by only one owner who will stay at the shelter. Other family members will need to stay at nearby Park Vista High School due to space restrictions. Livestock and reptiles will not be accepted. Pets will be housed in a separate area from people. Pet owners will be given a schedule to attend to their animal’s needs. Please visit the county website for information.

A special needs shelter, Palm Beach County Community High School-Palm Beach Gardens, will open Friday at the South Florida Fairgrounds. If you are registered, you should have received notification.

People with special medical needs should register for the Special Needs Program by calling (561) 712-6400 or visiting

Authorities are advising everyone to prepare for Hurricane Irma by restocking hurricane kits and staying updated on the storm's forecast.

Need to know what zone you live in? Just click here.

Martin County

Martin County officials have released information on evacuations including what should be done for those needing special assistance.

Officials are also providing information on pet-friendly shelters.

Shelter locations include:

  • Port Salerno Elementary School: 3260 SE Lionel Terrace, Stuart
  • JD Parker Elementary School: 1010 SE 10th Street, Stuart
  • Jensen Beach High School: 2875 NW Goldenrod Road, Jensen Beach
  • Hidden Oaks Middle School: 2801 SW Martin Highway, Palm City
  • Warfield Elementary School: 15260 SW 150th Street, Indiantown

Note: These locations will open at 8 a.m. on Saturday.

For complete details on shelter locations and items to bring, visit the county website at Martin.Fl.US.

The Martin County Sheriff's Office has already begun preparing for emergency operations.

St. Lucie County

To find a complete list of information on disaster preparedness in the St. Lucie County area, click here.

A special needs shelter will open on Friday at 3 p.m. That location is:

Havert L. Fenn Center

2000 Virginia Ave

Fort Pierce, Fla.

Other shelter locations onpen Saturday at 9 a.m. these locations are:

  • Fort Pierce Central High School
  • Chester A Moore Elementary
  • Morningside Elementary
  • Oak Hammock Elementary
  • Treasure Coast High School
  • Westgate K-8 School
  • Lakewood Park Elementary
  • Samuel S. Gaines Academy
  • Parkway Elememtary School
  • Westwood High School (pet-friendly)

Transportation to shelters will be available to residents until noon Saturday. You can call the county to request a ride.

Officials suggest that people requiring special assistance should register now.

Indian River County

Indian River County officials say shelters will open at 8 a.m. Saturday as the county executes evacuation orders.

Shelter locations include:

  • Indian River Academy
  • Oslo Middle School
  • Osceola Middle School
  • Gifford Middle School
  • Glendale Elementary School
  • VBHS Freshman Leaning Center
  • Vero Beach Elementary School
  • Fellsmere Elementary School
  • Pelican Island Elementary School
  • Sebastian River Middle School
  • Sebastian River High School
  • Storm Grove Middle School
  • Liberty Magnet School (pet-friendly)

Those with special needs must pre-register.

On the county's official website, residents can find important phone numbers to call in case of an emergency.

Those numbers include:

  • 911 for Law Enforcement/Fire/Ambulance
  • 772-226-3930 for Emergency services public information line (activated during diasters)
  • 772-567-4311 for Indian River Medical Center located in Vero Beach
  • 772-589-3186 for Sebastian River Medical Center in Sebastian
  • 772-226-3900 of the Indian River County Department of Emergency Services

To view the complete disaster preparedness guide for Indian River County, click here.

Okeechobee County

Okeechobee County officials say Okeechobee South Elementary School opened as a general population shelter Friday at 2 p.m. However, it is not a pet-friendly shelter.

  • South Elementary School
  • Osceola Middle School
  • Central Elementary School
  • Everglades Elementary School
  • North Elementary School
  • Seminole Elementary School
  • Yearling Middle School

Broward County

Authorities in Broward County are also urging residents to get ready for Hurricane Irma as soon as possible.

Officials say 14 general population shelters will open Thursday at noon.

  • Coconut Creek Lyons Creek Middle School: 4333 Sol Press Blvd. Coconut Creek, 33073
  • Coconut Creek Monarch High School 5050 Wiles Rd. Coconut Creek, 33073
  • Coral Springs Coral Glades High School 2700 Sportsplex Dr. Coral Springs, 33065
  • Davie Fox Trail Elementary School 1250 Nob Hill Rd. Davie, 33324
  • Fort Lauderdale Rock Island Elementary/ Atlantic Technical (Arthur Ashe) 1701 N.W. 23rd Ave. Fort Lauderdale, 33311
  • Pembroke Park Watkins Elementary School 3520 S.W. 52nd Ave. Pembroke Park, 33023
  • Lauderdale Lakes Park Lakes Elementary School 3925 N. State Rd. 7 Lauderdale Lakes, 33319
  • Miramar New Renaissance Middle School 10701 Miramar Blvd. Miramar, 33025
  • Plantation Elementary School 651 N.W. 42nd Ave. Plantation, 33317
  • Pompano Beach High School 600 N.E. 13 Ave. Pompano Beach, 33060
  • Weston Falcon Cove Middle School 4251 Bonaventure Blvd. Weston, 33332

The Pet Friendly Shelter location is:

  • Millennium Middle School/Challenger Elementary School Campus 5803 NW 94th Ave. Tamarac, 33321 (Not a general population shelter)

According to the county, service animals are permitted in general population shelters so long as the pet meets the requirements under Federal law. Visit ADA Requirements for Service Animals for additional information.

The Pet Friendly Shelter is available for residents owning pets that are not considered a service animal that live in evacuation areas or mobile homes. Officials say pre-registration is required.

Officals warn that owner access to pets may be limited at times during the emergency. Owners will be sheltered at Challenger Elementary School. Pets will be sheltered at Millennium Middle School. Facilities are adjacent. To register, call the Humane Society at 954-989-3977.

If you need to get to a shelter, but do not have transportation, please call 311 or 954-831-4000 before 5 p.m. Friday.

On the Broward Sheriff's Office Facebook page are resources residents in the area can use to prepare for protecting their homes and what to do in times of an evacuation.

For more information, visit the Broward County official website.

For a complete list of all Florida counties' Emergecny Management websites, visit

NOTE: Keep in mind that during zone evacuations, not all shelters will open at the same time.

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