Hurricane season begins on June 1 and runs through November 30. All residents of the community, including those without homes, are encouraged to make plans as to what they will do and where they will go if a hurricane evacuation is ordered in Hillsborough County.
Plan where you will go – Evacuation Shelter Options
Know the location of the hurricane evacuation shelters and which shelter you will go to as these shelters are open to anyone in need of shelter when an evacuation is ordered.
A printed copy of this year’s Hurricane Guide, which includes a list and map of shelters, is available at all post offices, fire stations and public libraries. This information is also posted on Hillsborough County’s Hurricane Information webpage.
Pet Friendly and Special Medical Needs Shelter
In addition to the ‘general’ shelters, there are also shelters for people with pets and for people with special medical needs. Locations and information can be found on Hillsborough County’s Emergency Management webpage.
Pet friendly shelters do require proof of current license and vaccination and for the pet to be in an appropriate pet carrier/crate.
Hillsborough County provides a shelter program for those residents requiring special medically related care. Special needs shelters will be available for persons requiring more skilled medical care than available in a public shelter but not requiring an acute care facility such as a hospital. If this type of extended care is needed, contact the Hillsborough InfoLine at 813-272-5900 or the Hillsborough County Health Department at (813) 307-8063 to be considered for registration into this program.
Homeless Sexual Offenders/Predators
If you are in need of shelter during a hurricane evacuation, please note that you will not be able to seek shelter at any evacuation shelter that is located at a school, and that any restrictions on your whereabouts remain intact. Some non-school based shelter sites may be able to provide shelter, at the discretion of the shelter director. You are encouraged to find a private alternative you can evacuate to if needed. If you are unable to locate such an alternative, you may contact the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) at their toll free number, 1-888-357-7732, to explore other evacuation options.
Plan how you will get there – Transportation Options
If an evacuation is ordered, HART will begin emergency evacuation service with buses that will travel 10 special evacuation routes for people who need transportation to shelters. These routes are provided to assist people who have no other options for getting to safety and shelters. Specific stops along each route are marked with blue and white “Emergency Shelter Bus Stop” signs. Buses will depart each bus stop approximately every five to ten minutes.
Visit HART’s Emergency Evacuation Routes webpage for more information about the evacuation bus routes.
Some important things to keep in mind about HART’s Emergency Evacuation bus service:
- This is a FREE service
- These buses will operate only in daylight hours and service will be suspended when the Emergency Operations Center advises HART to remove vehicles off the road.
- Areas not part of HART’s routes the Hillsborough County School District school buses to evacuate people in areas not covered by the 10 HART evacuation routes. For more information, residents should call the Hillsborough County Emergency Operations Center at 813-272-6900.
- Each person is allowed 1 suitcase