Hurricane evacuation shelters are provided for public use in the event a hurricane evacuation is necessary and residents have no other option for refuge. Buildings used for evacuation shelters are generally public schools staffed by Red Cross volunteers. However, often churches will provide shelter as well.
Be prepared to stay in the shelter for several days. Alcohol and weapons are not permitted. Pets are only allowed in Pet Shelters. For a complete list of shelters, call (850) 471-6400 or continue reading this section to view a printable document.
Should you choose an alternate plan, it is recommended that arrangements be made with a friend or relative who lives in a well constructed home out of the evacuation area that is properly protected to withstand hurricane force winds.
Escambia County will coordinate with the American Red Cross of Northwest Florida (ARC) to open hurricane evacuation shelters in phases based on public demand. The county and the ARC will NOT be opening all of the shelters at one time like in previous years. What this means for you:
Click here for Special Needs Shelter information.
- Regardless of the specific shelters on the county list of shelters, shelter openings may vary with each emergency situation. Stay tuned to local media for a listing of which shelters will be opened for a specific emergency situation.
- Do not go to a shelter until local officials announce through the media that a shelter is open.
- The phasing of shelter openings will differ by size and intensity of an emergency situation and the numbers of evacuating people seeking public shelter options.
- Do not wait to evacuate in hopes that a specific shelter location might open in any given emergency situation. Other than the public shelters that are open at any given time during an emergency evacuation, assume no other shelters will be opened, implement your family or business disaster plan, evacuate when you are ready to evacuate and go to a shelter that is open if you plan to seek refuge in a public shelter. If you wait, you may wait too long to safely evacuate you and your family.
- Stay tuned to local media as it may relate to pet sheltering options.
- The list of hurricane shelters are typically identified for use during large scale hurricane evacuations. In emergency situations other than hurricanes and tropical storm threats to our community, additional shelter locations may be identified in other community facilities at the time of need. It will be important for you to monitor local media for those shelter opening locations when the need is identified.