Evacuation – Sheltering
Emergency Alert Notification System
AlertBroward notifications will provide subscribers with important information in critical countywide situations such as a hurricane. This would include evacuations, curfews, and open shelters.
By signing up you’ll receive time-sensitive calls to your home, business or mobile phones, or you can sign up for text messages or emails. You pick where, you pick how. Click Here
Evacuation – Have a Place to Go
- Based on your location and community plans, make your own plans for evacuation or sheltering in place. Advise a friend or family member who is located outside of the disaster area know what your evacuation plan is.
- Become familiar with your evacuation zone, the evacuation route, and shelter locations. In Broward County everyone east of the Intracoastal Waterway will be under mandatory evacuations and more than likely everyone east of US 1 will be required to evacuate. DO NOT take evacuation orders lightly! If you are told to evacuate, it is for the safety and the best interest of your family to comply.
- Gather needed supplies for at least 3 days. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets. Have a Pet Plan – click here.
- Restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include food and water enough for at least 3 days, medications, flashlights, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies. For more detail on emergency kits click here.
- Keep important documents in a safe place or password-protect digital copies.
- Protect your property. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves in plumbing to prevent backups.
- Bring loose, lightweight objects inside that could become projectiles in high winds (e.g. patio furniture, garbage cans); anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (e.g. grills, propane tanks); and trim or remove trees close enough to fall on the building.
- Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.
- Review insurance policies. Do you have flood insurance? For more information about the National Flood Insurance Program and to look up your home/area click here
Broward County Evacuation Shelters:
Broward County Evacuation Shelters may not all open during a state of emergency, but open as needed. Do not go to a shelter until you have verified the shelter is open and has available space. If possible, staying with family or friends outside an evacuation zone is your first and best option. Monitor the Broward County website, local television stations or call the Emergency Hotline at 311 or 954-831-4000 or use
AlertBroward to confirm openings. Please note which shelters are pet-friendly. Do not bring pets to shelters not listed as pet-friendly.
Emergency shelters are a service of the Broward County Commission and the Broward County School Board.
General Population Shelters – what to expect
Provisions at the shelter will be very limited. Cots and bottled water are not provided.
While a shelter is intended to help keep you safe during a storm or other emergency, it isn’t a hotel. Bring these essential items along to make your stay as comfortable as possible:
- Bedding such as pillows, blankets, air mattress
- Books, games
- Non-perishable snacks
- Extra change of clothing
- Sanitary wipes or other hygiene products
- Medications, if any
- Driver’s license, other identification
- Cell phone and mobile device with charger
- Personal items such as extra eyeglasses, hearing aid, etc.
- Baby supplies: ample amounts of baby food, formula, juice, diapers and wipes, and a stroller, portable crib or play pen
Special Needs Shelters
If you have a medical condition that requires a greater level of care than that provided at a General Population Shelter, but you do not require hospitalization or a medical institution, a Special Needs Shelter may be appropriate for you. These shelters offer basic medical assistance and monitoring. They are staffed by qualified medical personnel and have back-up electricity for limited lighting and essential medical equipment. Family members and caregivers are encouraged to accompany you.
Special Needs Shelters are appropriate if you:
- have minor health/medical condition(s) that require professional observation, assessment, and maintenance
- require assistance with personal care and/or assistance with medications but do not require hospitalization or a medical institution
- need assistance with medication administration and/or vital sign readings and are unable to do so without professional assistance.
Pre-registration for the Special Needs Shelter is open throughout the year, and while not required, is strongly encouraged to ensure that the shelter will be adequately prepared to meet your needs. All residents seeking shelter in a Special Needs facility will be reviewed on an individual basis to determine the best shelter option.
Use the Special Needs Shelter Kit Checklist to help you prepare to go to the Special Needs shelter. Broward County Special Needs Shelters Website
Evacuation transportation services to and from your pre-planned shelter destination, including transfer assistance, are available, through either BCT fixed route service or Paratransit (TOPS).All BCT buses are wheelchair accessible and online bus route timetables are provided in text-based format for the visually impaired.Paratransit (TOPS) buses are for individuals with physical, cognitive, emotional, visual or other disabilities which prevent them from using BCT’s fixed route service.Pre-registration for Paratransit (TOPS) is also strongly encouraged if you think you may need this service. You are not obligated to take advantage of either service if your plans change.
How to Register for Special Needs Shelter and/or Transportation
Special Needs Shelters – Download the applications forms below.
For questions regarding the program or to inquire about your application status, please call 954-831-3902 (or TTY 954-831-3940).
FDOT Emergency Shoulder Use (Disaster Evacuations)
The Florida Department of Transportation has provided the Emergency Shoulder Use (ESU), an innovative strategy to increase traffic capacity during major hurricane evacuations using existing paved shoulders on 6 Specific Emergency Evacuation Routes. Where the shoulder is paved and the route will safely allow, there will be long specified stretches of roadway to safely, efficiently and effectively assist in evacuations.
First developed in 2017 and covering key corridors within the state, ESU plans replace the former one-way plans, also known as contraflow and lane reversal. Click here for more information
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