If You Must Evacuate

Evacuation procedures are simple. The checklists on the following pages will show what steps to take when preparing for a possible hurricane evacuation. Manatee County residents are encouraged to stay with friends, family members or in hotels / motels located outside the predicted flooding areas or SURGE zones. If these options aren't available, you can use Manatee County shelters as a last resort.


You DO NOT have an assigned shelter for your area! Any open shelter near your home will accept you as a refugee from the storm and assist you and your family. Manatee County shelters are opened dependent on the direction and size of the storm. This gives the Manatee County Emergency Management team the flexibility to protect as many people as possible. Look in the GTE phone book, Customer Info Guide, General Information section for shelter locations.


Remember that Manatee County shelter facilities are austere at best and your comfort will depend on what you can carry. Lawn chairs, cots and small folding tables are a good idea.


Obey the instructions of local authorities. Travel light, but carry essential and valuables (See recommended Hurricane Survival Kit Inventory in this handbook).


Load your hurricane survival kit and other supplies in your vehicle.


Leave your pet(s) in an approved animal shelter. Pets are not allowed in any of Manatee Counties shelters with the exception of seeing-eye dogs. Make these arrangements well ahead of time (prior to the beginning of hurricane season). Do not leave your pets in your home or release them to roam and fend for them selves.


People who are pre-registered as a Special Needs Program client must be ready to evacuate, with their recommended evacuation kit, when called. For more information on this program call the Manatee County Emergency Management office at 941-748-4501.


People who should have registered as a Special Needs client but have not, need to contact friends or family members for transportation to the Assisted Care Shelter or a hospital. If this is not possible contact 748-4501 for assistance.


Remember to cooperate with local, state, and federal authorities. This will ensure that the entire evacuation process goes smoothly.