Evacuation and Weathering the Storm
You should have a prepared plan and be able to execute it quickly to evacuate with little difficulty, if necessary. If evacuation is not mandatory for your area and you plan to stay in your home and weather the storm, make sure you have prepared a sufficient hurricane kit and are aware of other dangers during the storm.
Table of Contents
- Evacuation procedures are simple. The checklist below 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 depending 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.
- 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
- 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 County's 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
- People who are pre-registered as a Special Needs Program client must be ready
to evacuate, with their recommended evacuation kit, when called.
- 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 Manatee County Emergency Management at 941-748-4501 for assistance.
It is recommended for families to have a minimum of 5 days worth of supplies in a hurricane survival kit, as well as other items for use at a shelter and/or upon return to your home. These are some recommended steps:
Step 1: Ensure your vehicle has a full tank of gasoline. Check tire pressure and inspect fluid levels.
Step 2: Obtain cash rolls of quarters and small bills for use in vending machines. Remember that most vendors will not accept checks or credit cards after a hurricane.
Step 3: Pack the following:
- Items that require no cooking
- Items that are ready to eat
- Include a can-opener and plastic or disposable utensils
- Include toiletries and enough personal hygiene supplies for two weeks
Step 4: Pack important documents and papers:
- Birth/Marriage Certificates
- Wills and Power Of Attorney
- Computer Disks with valuable information and/or System Disks
- Video tape of household goods and of the interior/exterior of the house
- Pet vaccination documentation
- Personal phone/address book
Step 5: Pack Clothing, Bedding, and Bathing Supplies:
- Pants, Shirts, Underwear, Socks, Etc
- Pillows, Sheets, and Blankets
- Towels and Face Cloths
Step 6: Inspect the house for loose external items:
- Trash Cans and Receptacles
- Lawn and Patio Tables/Chairs
- Toys (Swing Sets, Riding Toys, Etc.)
- Secure Television Antenna or Satellite Dish
- Unplug Appliances (Televisions, Stereos, Computers, Etc.)
- Turn Off Gas and Electricity to the house
Step 7: Check your pet into a pet friendly hotel/motel, kennel, or veterinarian office
Manatee County has contract wrecker services assigned by the local law enforcement
agencies and placed on stand-by. If your vehicle becomes disabled try to move it off
the evacuation roadway and place a white cloth flag to signal vehicle distress. The
wrecker service will assist you in moving your vehicle off the evacuation roadway and in
finding transportation to the nearest possible shelter. They may not be able to transport
you or your vehicle to a location of your liking.
During the Storm: Other Weather-related Dangers
Hurricanes not only bring strong winds and heavy rain, but also create conditions favorable to other dangerous weather formations. While these other dangers occur throughout the entire year, it is important to remember that they often occur alongside hurricanes as well.