Before the Event
(Also See Special Needs Residents and Transportation)
Many residents are able to safely shelter at home in the event of a hurricane or other emergency. However, some residents are required to evacuate their homes. The best option is to stay with family or friends outside the evacuation zone. This is the first, best choice and where you will be most comfortable. To the extent possible, shelters provide residents with a safe place to stay and basic assistance to help them get through the emergency.
Emergency shelters are a service of the Broward County Commission, American Red Cross, Broward County School
Board and Florida Department of Health in Broward.
Evacuation and Shelter Information: List of General Population Shelters and a map with their locations.
When Shelters Open
The schedule for opening shelters will be announced on local radio and television stations. Residents and tourists are advised to monitor broadcast stations for shelter openings. General Population Shelters are usually available four hours after an evacuation order is issued.
A General Population shelter is a place of refuge for residents and tourists whose homes or hotels are in the evacuation zone or are deemed unsafe, such as a mobile home. General Population shelters provide a basic level of care and are open to all. No preregistration is required. If you have a self-managed health condition or disability, you will likely be able to shelter comfortably in a General Population shelter. When you arrive at the shelter, be sure to tell shelter personnel what your needs are.
What to Bring
- A shelter will not provide the comforts of a hotel or motel. No cots or bottled water will be provided. No smoking will be allowed inside shelters.
- The shelter is not a medical shelter; only basic first aid will be available.
- Broward County does not accept responsibility for storing valuable personal property.
- Parents are required to be in control of their children at all times.
- Evacuees needing medical assistance of personal attendants can not be left unattended.
- Shelters are equipped with generators, but they may or may not be air-conditioned. If electrical power is interrupted, portable generators will not be able to keep air conditioners running.
- 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.
- Broward County has a pet-friendly shelter that is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The Humane Society of Broward County and Broward County operate this shelter that is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Preregistration is recommended, but not required. To register, call 954-989-3977 and press 7, or visit HumaneBroward.com. Pets staying at the shelter must be accompanied by their owners, but pets and owners will be housed in different buildings at adjacent facilities. Owners are expected to shelter with their pets and care for them. The Pet Friendly shelter is not a General Population shelter.
To make your stay at the shelter more comfortable, evacuees should bring:
Before Leaving Your Home:
- personal hygiene items
- beddings such as cots, air mattresses, blankets and pillows for their own use (none will be provided)
- non-perishable snacks, bottled water, and personal or special food, if needed
- extra change of clothing
- personal items (medications, eyeglasses, hearing aid, flashlights, toothbrushes, battery-operated radio, special diet foods, if appropriate)
- baby supplies: ample amounts of baby food, formula, juice, diapers and wipes, and a stroller, portable crib or play pen
- driver's license, other identification
- cash, traveler's checks
- important documents
What NOT to Bring
- Have a good meal. Cold foods may only be served in the shelter.
- Turn off electricity at the fuse or breaker box (to prevent possible fire).
- Turn off water at the outside line.
- Turn off gas for gas water heaters (to prevent possible fire).
The following are not permitted in the shelter:
How to Check In
- Firearms or explosive devices
- Intoxicating or alcoholic beverages
- Illegal drugs
All evacuees must register at the time they enter the shelter. The head of the family may register for all.
Updated June 2017