A General shelter is a secure location to stay temporarily in the event of an emergency or natural/man-made disaster. When such shelters are opened, they'll be announced on the local radio and television broadcasts. Please remember, using a shelter is a last resort choice. Every effort is made to provide a safe space for your protection during an evacuation, but your personal preparation is really the key to the success of your experience. Review some commonly asked questions and answers regarding emergency public shelter information.
When Do Shelters Open?
Martin County will open a shelter anytime there is a need, such as a hurricane, flood, severe cold front, wildfire, or any other natural or man-made disaster. The shelter that is selected is based on the magnitude of the disaster and the number of residents who require assistance. Not all shelters will be opened at the same time, please monitor radio and television broadcasts.
How a Shelter Works:
When you first arrive, you will need to check-in and complete the required paperwork. Next a staff member will direct you to the dorm area to show you where you may set up your personal belongings. Each person is provided approximately 20 square feet per person. Please be courteous to others as there is little to no personal space. Once set up, try to relax and settle in. Meal times and shelter rules will be posted. Once the storm passes, shelter clients will be advised when it is safe to leave. Officials must first give the all-clear as roads may become blocked by downed wires, trees, or flooding. Make sure to gather all of your belongings and clean up after yourself prior to leaving the shelter.
Who Should Go to a Shelter?
- If you do not have any other options and one of the following conditions apply:
- If your home is threatened or you live in an unsafe structure
- If you live within a mandatory evacuation zone, low-lying flood zone or area prone to storm surge
- If you do not have ample supplies to prepare your home for a disaster
- Anyone can go to a shelter if you do not feel safe
What to Bring to a Shelter:
- 3-5 days of non-perishable food (for those with special diets) water, medication, clothing, toiletries, snacks
- Bedding, pillows, cots, sleeping bag
- Identification, important documents, cash and flash-light
- Books, magazines, quiet toys for kids
- For infants: Enough food, supplies, diapers, blankets, bedding, clothing
What NOT to Bring to a Shelter:
Where Can I Take My Pets?
We recognize that people may not want to evacuate their residence or leave their pets behind if they live in an evacuation zone. Martin County Emergency Management, in conjunction with the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast has planned for a Domestic Pet-Friendly Sheltering Program for the citizens of Martin County. The Humane Society of the Treasure Coast will house your pet at their facility for residents who are recommended or ordered to evacuate. Pre-registration for domestic pet sheltering is required due to limited capacity; view the 'Domestic Pet-Friendly Sheltering Program' button below. Should you have to leave your pet at the HSTC, please remember the following:
- Pets only! No people
- You must pre-register your pet
- Pets must be at the shelter before the storm arrives
- No sick or aggressive animals will be accepted
- Pets must have written proof of current vaccinations
- ID and rabies tags must be valid and on collar
For questions regarding general emergency shelters in Martin County, please call the Martin County Emergency Management at (772) 287-1652. For special needs sheltering information, click the "Special Needs Assistance" button.