Overview

Martin County provides two (2) different types of emergency shelters – general population and medically enhanced (special needs). A “pet-friendly” designation will also be assigned to a specific shelter, which will be equipped to allow animals at the facility.

During a declared emergency such as an impending hurricane, shelter information will be available by calling 3-1-1, as well as local media, television and radio broadcasts.

General Shelters

During an emergency, shelters are opened as needed, and not all of the shelters may be opened at the same time. Shelters are designed to accommodate residents of the barrier islands, those in low-lying or flood-prone areas, in evacuation zones, mobile or manufactured homes, or those who have no other sheltering options.

Please remember, using a shelter is a last resort choice. Consider all of your alternatives before you decide to go to a shelter. Your first, best choice is to stay with family or friends in a safe place.

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. A list of open shelters will also be available here.

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 in an 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:

  • Identification
  • Bedding (cot, pillow, blanket, sleeping bag)
  • Water and non-perishable food (3-5 day supply including any special dietary foods)
  • Prescriptions, medications
  • Extra clothing
  • Toiletries, personal hygiene items
  • Flashlight, batteries
  • Quiet games, toys or reading materials
  • Cell phone, mobile device with charger
  • Infant formula, diapers and food
  • Important documents

DO NOT bring:

  • Weapons
  • Illegal drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Pets (unless it is a pet-friendly shelter)

Service animals are allowed at all shelters. 

According to Ch. 413 § 413.08, Florida Statute, “service animal” means an animal that is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disability.

The term “service animal” is limited to a dog or miniature horse.

Comfort animals or emotional support animals are NOT service animals.

When entering the shelter:

Staff may ask two questions: (1) is the service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the service animal been trained to perform.

The service animal must be under the control of its handler and must have a harness, leash or other tether, unless either the handler is unable because of a disability to use a harness, leash or other tether, or the use of a harness, leash or other tether would interfere with the service animal’s safe, effective performance of work or tasks, in which case the service animal must be otherwise under the handler’s control by means of voice control, signals or other effective means.

Items to bring for your service animal:

  • Shot records
  • Current rabies vaccination certificate
  • Any medications/prescriptions
  • Food and treats
  • Newspaper or pet pads
  • Comfort toys

Pet Sheltering

PET-FRIENDLY SHELTER:

A pet-friendly shelter will be made available for residents of Martin County and the location will be announced prior to opening. The pet-friendly shelter will only accept dogs and cats. It is first-come, first-served, and no pre-registration is required.

You must shelter with your pet (you cannot drop off your pet at the shelter and leave). Owners are responsible for the feeding, care, clean-up and behavior of their pets.

Items to bring to the pet-friendly shelter:

  • Proof of current vaccinations
  • ID and rabies tag(s)
  • Collar and leash
  • Crate/carrier
  • Pet medications, if necessary
  • Food, water and bowls 
  • Newspaper, pet pads
  • Comfort items (such as toys or blankets)

DOMESTIC PET-SHELTERING PROGRAM:

Martin County Emergency Management, in conjunction with the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast has a Domestic Pet-Sheltering Program in place for residents of Martin County.

The Humane Society of the Treasure Coast will house pet(s) at their facility for residents who are recommended or ordered to evacuate. Due to limited capacity, pre-registration is required.

Should you have to leave your pet at the HSTC, please remember:

  • Only pets are allowed, no people
  • You must pre-register your pet at hstc1.org 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 proof of current vaccinations
  • ID and rabies tags must be valid and on collar

Special Needs Shelters

A special needs shelter will be designated to provide basic medical assistance and monitoring. Those with special needs should enroll in the Martin County Special Needs Registry. The county will arrange for transportation and shelter for those who are enrolled. You may also enroll by calling (772) 287-1652.

Learn more about Special Needs Registry & Evacuation Assistance.

Contact

For any other questions about Martin County emergency shelters, please call Martin County Emergency Management at (772) 287-1652