What is a General Shelter?
A general shelter is a secure location to stay temporarily in the event of an emergency or natural/man-made disaster. When shelters are opened, they'll be announced on 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 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 locations selected will be 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, so please monitor local radio and television broadcasts for up-to-date information.
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:
- 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 flashlight
- Books, magazines, quiet toys for kids
- For infants: Food, supplies, diapers, blankets, bedding, clothing
What NOT to Bring:
Where Can I Take My Pets?
A pet-friendly shelter will be made available for Martin County residents and their dogs and/or cats during an evacuation event. The location will be announced prior to the shelter opening.
Items to bring to the pet-friendly shelter:
- Shot records
- Current rabies vaccination certificate
- County animal license tags
- Medications for you and your pet if needed
- Food for you and your pet
- Cleaning supplies if necessary
- Newspaper or pet pads
- Comfort items for your pet
Domestic Pet-Sheltering Program:
Martin County Emergency Management, in conjunction with the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast (HSTC), has a Domestic Pet-Sheltering Program in place for the citizens of Martin County. The Humane Society of the Treasure Coast will house your pet(s) at their facility for residents who are recommended or ordered to evacuate.
Pre-registration for domestic pet sheltering is required due to limited capacity; select the register link below for application and more information. Should you have to leave your pet at the HSTC, please remember the following:
- Pets only, no people
- You must pre-register your pet via the HSTC website, or call (772) 223-8822
- 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
Contact Emergency Management:
For questions regarding general emergency shelters in Martin County, please call Martin County Emergency Management at (772) 287-1652.