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Santa Rosa County Is Storm Ready!
Hurricane Shelters

  • General
  • Public Shelters
  • Special Needs Shelters
  • Standby Shelters
  • Last Resort Shelters
  • Pet Friendly
Emergency Management in conjunction with the American Red Cross oversees emergency sheltering for impacted and displaced residents during times of emergency.

In Santa Rosa County, hurricane shelters will be opened as needed when evacuation orders are issued. Shelter openings will be announced through all means possible including local media outlets, press conferences and public meetings. All shelters may not be opened at the same time, therefore attention must be given to the current shelter status in Santa Rosa County.

  • Evacuation and Shelter Options
  • Shelter openings may vary with each emergency.
  • If unable to receive media information during an event contact the Citizen Information Center at 850-983-INFO "4636" for a listing of which shelters will be opened.
  • Shelter openings will differ by size and intensity of a disaster.
  • Do not go to the shelter until you have verified that it is open. 

Here are some things you should know about going to a hurricane evacuation shelter.

Hurricane evacuation shelters are provided for public use in the event a hurricane evacuation becomes necessary and if you have no other place to go. It is recommended that other arrangements be made with a friend or relative that lives in a well-constructed home, out of the evacuation area, and properly protected to withstand hurricane force winds. You will probably be more comfortable, certainly in a less crowded environment and among friends. Remember, alcohol, weapons and pets are not permitted in public shelters.

Many churches will provide shelter for members and businesses should consider sheltering employees and families if possible.

Buildings used for evacuation shelters are normally public schools that are staffed by Red Cross volunteers and specially trained county staff. Shelters are always crowded, usually uncomfortable when the power goes off because there is no ventilation, long lines to use restrooms and to get food, and very noisy making it difficult to rest or sleep. Keep in mind you may have to stay in the shelter for several days.

If you go to a public evacuation shelter, you will need to take the following items:

  • A change of clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes.
  • Toiletries and personal items.
  • Blankets or sleeping bags.
  • Identification and any important papers.
  • Games or toys for children; books for adults.
  • Special items for infants or elderly family members.
  • Any special dietary needs and nonperishable foods for snacks.
  • Battery operated radio, flashlights and plenty of spare batteries.
  • Prescription medications or any over-the-counter medications you normally take.

Protect Your Pet Information
Proper planning before a hurricane or other natural disaster could save your life and that of your pet. If you live in an area which must be evacuated, you must make preparations for your family and your pets before the threat of a storm.

Shelter Type Pet Friendly Shelter Location Address
Public (map) No Chumuckla Community Center 2355 Higway 182
Public (map) No Jay High School 3741 School St
Public (map)
No
Milton Community Center 5629 Byrom St
Public (map) No Sims Middle School 5500 Education Dr
Public (map)
No
S.S. Dixon Intermediate School 5540 Education Dr

What to Bring to the Shelter
  • A change of clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes.
  • Toiletries and personal items.
  • Blankets or sleeping bags.
  • Identification and any important papers.
  • Games or toys for children; books for adults.
  • Special items for infants or elderly family members.
  • Any special dietary needs and nonperishable foods for snacks.
  • Battery operated radio, flashlights and plenty of spare batteries.
  • Prescription medications or any over-the-counter medications you normally take.
Shelter Type Pet Friendly Shelter Location Address

Special Needs (map)
pre-registration required

No Bennett C. Russell Elementary 3740 Excalibur Way
Alternate Special Needs (map) No Sims Middle School(alternate) 5500 Education Dr

Special Needs Program
Special Needs Centers

Responsible for the establishment and maintenance of a register to provide citizens who meet program criteria transportation and shelter during emergency evacuations.

See also Information on Special Needs Centers


In the event that additional evacuation shelters are needed, standby evacuation shelters have been identified and would be opened. Evacuation shelters, including the Special Needs Evacuation Shelter, are public buildings (usually schools) that are safer than mobile homes. There is no guarantee that an evacuation shelter is totally safe in severe storms.

Evacuation shelters should not be your first option of choice, they should be your last resort. Evacuating to a relative's or friend's home, in a safe area, should be considered first. Another option is the early evacuation of the projected area.

Do not attempt to stay in your home if you live in a flood-prone area or where you may be subject to storm surge. Go to an evacuation shelter or other safe area. Please see the evacuation shelter maps to find the shelter closest to your area.
These are locations used as a last resort to provide refuge for evacuees that may have otherwise been stranded along evacuation routes within hazard impact areas.

As the need becomes apparent, Santa Rosa County Emergency Management will announce the locations of refuges of last resort to motorists by all available means including news media, programmable road signs, etc.

Refuges of last resort are operated by the facility owners or their staff and are responsible for taking care of all necessities, such as food, water etc.

Shelter Type Pet Friendly Shelter Location Address
Public (map)
Yes
Avalon Middle School 5445 King Arthur’s Way

To utilize the shelter, all pets must have proof of current vaccinations. The only pets allowed in the shelter are cats and dogs. Upon arrival at the shelter pictures will be taken of pets with their owners. Pet owners must stay at the shelter, and will be responsible for caring for their pet and bringing a pet disaster kit. Pet disaster kits should be prepared now, as there may not be time to do so when a disaster hits. The kit should include:

What to Bring for Your Pet

  • What to Bring for Your Pet
  • Carrier or cage of sufficient size for the pet to stand, stretch, and turn around, and room for food and water
  • Collar and leash
  • Any necessary medication(s)
  • Proof of vaccinations
  • A five day supply of food and water
  • Any special dietary requirements
  • Bowls for food and water
  • Cat litter pan, litter and litter scooper
  • Plastic bags

What to Bring for Yourself

  • A change of clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes.
  • Toiletries and personal items.
  • Blankets or sleeping bags.
  • Identification and any important papers.
  • Games or toys for children; books for adults.
  • Special items for infants or elderly family members.
  • Any special dietary needs and nonperishable foods for snacks.
  • Battery operated radio, flashlights and plenty of spare batteries.
  • Prescription medications or any over-the-counter medications you normally take.

 

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