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9-9-17

Alachua County Evacuation and latest updates – Hurricane Irma


Voluntary Evacuation for Unsafe Structure Residents Beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, September 9, 2017, Alachua County is issuing a Voluntary Evacuation order for those living in mobile homes, manufactured homes, recreational vehicles or homes which may not withstand hurricane force winds and those in flood prone areas.


We are encouraging evacuees to stay with friends, family or in a hotel. Those considering using the emergency shelters, please remember that shelters are a choice of last resort.


Even though tropical storm force winds are not predicted to impact Alachua County until some time Sunday, we encourage those who will be utilizing the shelters to evacuate as close to the opening as possible as Alachua County will be receiving evacuees from the South. All shelters are on a first come first served basis.


Alachua County is opening 12 evacuation shelters. This will provide for the safe sheltering of over 7,000 of Florida's most vulnerable residents. Nine general population shelters, one special needs shelter, and two pet-friendly shelters are being opened. The shelters will be staffed by Alachua County, Florida Department of Health in Alachua County, and Alachua County Public Schools personnel.


Immigration status will not be checked at our shelters. No one need be concerned about that.


Citizens needing to arrange special needs transportation to the special needs shelter may call the following phone numbers beginning at 9 a.m. on Thursday, September 7, 2017: (352) 955-2575, (352) 955-2576, (352) 955-2577, or (352) 955-2579.


For those considering using the emergency shelters, please remember that general population shelters are a last resort, and should only be used by those living in homes that are potentially unsafe in high winds (e.g. mobile homes), people who live in flood-prone areas, and people who have nowhere else to go.


General Population Shelters - Located at the Newberry Archery Center (24880 NW 16th Avene, Newberry) general population shelters do not provide cots or beds. Bring any needed bedding. When packing to go to a shelter, please bring special dietary foods, baby food, diapers (and other child necessities), prescription medications, a small cooler of ice if refrigeration is needed as the shelter cannot be responsible for your medications. Also bring spare clothing, personal care items (hygiene, toiletries, etc.), spare eyeglasses/contacts, and identification.


Special Needs Shelters - Located at the Alachua County Senior Center (5701 N.W. 34th Blvd, Gainesville), the special needs shelter is for those with special medical needs, such as oxygen dependency. Those in need of transportation assistance, please call 352-955-2575 or 352-955-2576
The special needs shelter has cots available. Please be sure that you bring all medications, medical supplies, hygiene products, medical equipment (i.e. pumps, batteries, charges, A/C Adapters, etc.) If a person requires constant care, the appropriate caregiver is required come to the shelter and stay with the person requiring care.


For those with pets going to the Special Needs Shelter at the Senior Center (5701 NW 34th Blvd, Gainesville, FL), please drop your pets off at Alachua County Animal Services (3400 NE 53rd Ave. Gainesville) If not possible, transport will be arranged at the shelter.


Learn more about special needs eligibility and programs
Shelter information will be available by calling 3-1-1 as well as through the media and the Alachua County Emergency Management website. DO NOT CALL 9-1-1 for shelter or storm information. Call 9-1-1 only for a life threatening emergency.

Pet Friendly Shelter Information

In preparation for Hurricane Irma, the Waldo Community School (14450 NE 148th Avenue, Waldo) will be opened as a Pet Friendly Shelter on Friday, September 8, 2017 at 5 p.m. The Waldo Pet Friendly Shelter is intended to safely shelter cats, dogs, and their people.  Citizens with pets are encouraged to bring basic pet supplies such as collars, leashes, crates, carriers, towels, blankets, pet medications, pet food, etc.  Alachua County Animal Services along with Community Support Services staff will be on site to encourage both public and animal safety.  Animal Services will have supplemental supplies on hand for those in need.  We also encourage citizens to bring veterinary records indicating their pets are properly vaccinated.  However to minimize the spread of contagious disease, animals without such records will be vaccinated upon intake.  Please keep in mind that for the safety of all involved, both citizens and pets, animals will need to be properly restrained throughout their stay at the emergency shelter.

Due to the prevalence of pet related allergies, citizens without pets are encouraged to seek shelter at one of the other available locations. Two other shelters will open Friday, September 8, 2017 at 10 a.m.: A special needs shelter at the Alachua County Senior Center (5701 N.W. 34th Blvd., Gainesville), and a general population shelter located at The Easton Newberry Sports Complex (24880 N.W. 16th Ave., Newberry).

If you have additional storm-related pet needs, such as a large number of animals needing shelter, pot-bellied pigs, horses, or exotic animals, please contact Animal Services immediately at 352-264-6870 or 311.

For those considering using the emergency shelters, please remember that shelters are a last resort, and should only be used by those living in homes that are potentially unsafe in high winds (e.g. mobile homes, manufactured homes and others), people who live in flood-prone areas, and people who have nowhere else safe to go.

Shelters do not provide cots or beds. Bring any needed bedding. When packing to go to a shelter, please bring special dietary foods, baby food, diapers (and other child necessities), prescription medications, a small cooler of ice if refrigeration is needed as the shelter cannot be responsible for your medications. Also bring spare clothing, personal care items (hygiene, toiletries, etc.), spare eyeglasses/contacts, and identification.

To stay informed about current conditions and threats from Hurricane Irma, please call 311, the Alachua County Information and Rumor Control Line. Please use it to verify the most up to the minute information on Hurricane Irma. This number cannot receive texts. Please use 911 for bona fide emergencies only.

Residents are encouraged to have a basic emergency supply kit, an emergency preparedness plan, and to register for emergency alerts at www.AlertAlachua.com.


Sand Bag Locations

Hurricane Irma Sandbag locations are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., please bring a shovel to expedite the process:
ALACHUA: 15001 NW 140TH ST
ARCHER: Fire Department, 17128 SW Archer Road
CROSS CREEK: Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Park, 18800 S CR 325
GAINESVILLE: Public Works Department, 405 NW 39th AVE
HAGUE: Hague Wayside Park, 11855 NW US 441
HAWTHORNE: Sewage Treatment Plant, 23016 SE 65th LN
HIGH SPRINGS: Memorial Park, 17380 NW US HWY 441
NEWBERRY: Public Works Compound, 120 NW 260th ST
WALDO: Water Tower, 4750 Week Street
WINDSOR: Fire Department, 1401 SE CR 234