If a powerful hurricane sets its sights on Central Florida, Lake County residents need to be ready to safely shelter until the storm has passed. If you live in a manufactured home or low-lying area, never ignore an evacuation order. As we know from past storms, the destructive winds and heavy rain of a hurricane can cause massive destruction of property and loss of life. Be safe!
Lake County shelters are built with safety in mind and are designed to withstand extreme weather events. Be ready and know the location of the nearest Lake County shelter so you can quickly evacuate if necessary. Think twice before staying at any site that may call itself a shelter, but has not been checked out by the American Red Cross and Lake County Emergency Management.
Besides evacuating to a Lake County designated shelter, another way to ride out a storm is to stay with a friend or relative in a site-built home. In some cases, you may find it more comfortable with someone who knows your special needs, but keep in mind Lake County’s shelters can assist you with many of the essentials, in addition to safe lodging.
Any Lake County resident who might need transportation assistance to a shelter during a hurricane is encouraged to complete a public shelter registry form. The registry program, administered by the Lake County Office of Emergency Management, helps quickly identify, and be on the alert for, residents who may not have reliable transportation to a public shelter when a storm hits. Please take a look at the Public Shelter Registry Brochure to learn more about this program.
There are nine primary shelters in Lake County, and additional safe shelters are available if necessary. In most circumstances, the primary shelters open first.
Special needs shelters are designed for residents who have registered with the county’s special-needs program.
As of September 7, 2017, all Lake County shelters also accept pets with up-to-date rabies vaccinations. Pets brought to the shelters must be crated, and owners must bring the required paperwork, along with food and water for their pets.
ALL primary and secondary shelters accept and welcome service animals. Service animals are trained to handle tasks for people with disabilities, such as guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling wheelchairs, and/or performing other tasks. Owners of service animals must bring up-to-date rabies vaccinations paperwork to the shelter.
To register for the special-needs program or the public shelter registry, call the Lake County Office of Emergency Management at 352-343-9420 or follow the links for the on-line forms and instructions.
All Lake County shelters are pet-friendly.
View interactive map with shelter locations