In the event of a Category 1 or 2 storm, Monroe County will open four shelters up and down the Florida Keys (see sidebar). For a Category 3 or higher hurricane the shelters will not open and residents will be advised to seek shelter on the mainland.
Shelters are designed to be safe, not comfortable. Residents are instructed to bring their own supplies including food and drink and comfort items. Pets are allowed at every shelter; however, they must have a crate and veterinary certificates of health. Pet owners should provide all the necessary supplies — food, water, leashes, litter, etc.
Category 1-2 Hurricanes
• Key West High School
2100 Flagler Avenue
• Sugarloaf Elementary
MM 19, U.S. 1
• Marathon High School
350 Sombrero Beach Rd.
• Coral Shores High School
MM 90, U.S. 1
Category 3-5 Hurricanes
• The E. Darwin Fuchs Pavilion, located adjacent to Florida International University campus. Take the Florida Turnpike north and take Exit No. 23. Follow the ramp right toward SW 40th Street (Bird Road). Bear left onto SW 117th Avenue. Turn right onto SW 40th Street. At SW 112th Avenue, make a left to head north and continue until you see signs for the Miami-Dade County Fair & Expo Center.
• Residents are required to complete registration before entering shelter.
• No weapons, alcohol, or illegal drugs.
• No smoking allowed in shelters.
• ‘Lights out’ quiet time will be enforced.
• All county shelters are also pet-friendly shelters. Animals must have appropriate crates and carriers, plus supplies. With the exception of service animals, pets may be kept in a separate area of the shelter.
• Children must be attended at all times. Parents are not allowed to leave the premises without them.
Water and Food (multiple-day supply)
• Drinking water in plastic containers
• Non-perishable food in cans or sealed containers
• Special dietary foods, baby food, formula, manual can opener, paper products, and utensils
• Portable ice chest with ice
Clothing and Bedding
• Extra clothes and shoes
• Sleeping bag, blanket and pillow, and light weight portable lounge chairs
• Rain gear
• Wash cloths, towels, soap, toothbrush, paper towels, and toilet paper
• Clothes, diapers, formula, bottles, food, and blankets
Medications and First Aid Supplies
• Medication clearly marked with your name, dosage, type of medication, and doctor’s name. Persons must be able to self-administer all medications
• First aid supplies in a waterproof box
• Name and address of doctors
• Name and address of nearest relative
• Identification and valuable papers
• Games, cards, toys, battery powered radios, and flashlights
• Take a bath and eat before you leave home