Shelter information

Published: Updated:
MGN Online

FORT MYERS, Fla. – There is not enough shelter space for all the people living in Southwest Florida, so emergency shelters should be a last resort for people who cannot evacuate ahead of a storm.

General Population Shelter

Not every designated shelter site will be open during a storm. It all depends on the storm’s track and predicted storm surge. If you head to a shelter you should bring your own bedding, personal hygiene products, a change of clothes, supplies for your baby, any medications you need and something to keep the kids and you, entertained.

Special Needs Shelter

Southwest Florida also has special needs shelters for people with special medical needs. These shelters are powered by generators, providing electricity for people who need medical equipment and the shelters provide oxygen for people who need it.

People with special medical needs to reapply every year in Lee County, Charlotte County and Collier County. If you are not on the shelter list, you won’t be able to get in once a storm threatens.

Pet Shelter

When making plans for your family, make sure to include your pets. If you are going to evacuate, bring your animal with you. It is never a good idea to leave your pets behind in your home. If you plan on getting a hotel room, consider a pet-friendly hotel.

If you cannot leave town, you can head to a pet shelter. These are for dogs and cats only. In Lee and Charlotte counties you do not need to register, but you do have to register before a storm in Collier County.

If you use a pet shelter, you must bring your dog or cat along with a crate or cage, food, water and a leash. You will be in charge of taking care of them, and cleaning up after them. You will also have to show proof of current vaccinations and sick animals will not be allowed in the shelters.

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