LABELLE -- Hurricane season starts June 1.
Hendry County evacuation shelters should be a last resort. If it is safe, stay with family and friends or shelter in place at home. Know your home and know your level.
Residents in low-lying areas and mobile homes should seek shelter when conditions warrant. Many roads could be underwater well in advance of a storm, restricting their use as evacuation routes. If you are going to leave the area, be prepared to evacuate early. If an evacuation is called for, and you do not evacuate, you will be without fire rescue, law enforcement or emergency medical support until winds and waters subside.
If your home was built after 2002, and you are not in an evacuation zones, you may be more comfortable sheltering in place. A 2005 University of Florida study concluded that homes built under the 2002 Florida Building Code sustained less damage on average than homes built between 1994 and 2001 under the Standard Building Code. Homes built before 1994 also fared worse than those built after that year.
IF YOU’VE DETERMINED THAT YOUR HOME IS NOT SAFE TO RIDE OUT A STORM
STAY WITH A FRIEND OR LEAVE THE AREA
Emergency management agencies recommend you arrange a “host home” outside the evacuation level. A host home is the home of a friend or family member who has agreed to provide temporary shelter for you and your family. Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the “family contact.” Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address and phone number of the family contact.
MOVE TO AN EVACUATION SHELTER
In the event of a hurricane watch, Hendry County will open some shelters as needed. Hurricane evacuation shelters are not hotels and will not be able to provide any conveniences or luxuries. You will have no privacy, limited space approximately 20 square feet per person in a public classroom or hallway, and meal service, if available, may be delayed. Evacuation shelters cannot provide bedding, cots or blankets. Not all listed shelters will not be open for every storm. Local radio and television stations will announce which shelters are open. We cannot predict how long you may have to remain at the shelter, since we cannot predict how damaging the effects of each storm will be.
A shelter is a safe place to be during an emergency. However, it offers only the basic life-sustaining necessities, such as shelter from the weather; water; and sanitary services. The shelter will likely not have electricity for the majority of your stay. It will be noisy, crowded and somewhat uncomfortable.
In the event we are faced with a catastrophic storm, we will be focused on life safety and will bring into the shelter all those seeking refuge from the storm, reducing individual space allowance for a period of time.
You must bring your own personal hygiene items, sleeping bags/cots, blankets, towels and comfort items to the shelter. Being considerate of others and having a positive attitude will be helpful to everyone. Listen for official information and do not participate in gossip or rumors, which can be very disruptive. Volunteer to help whenever possible. Food may or may not be provided. You should bring some food items with you. If you have diet restrictions or require specialty foods, you must bring those.
To sign up for emergency alerts go here: https://member.everbridge.net/892807736724664/login
All of Hendry County’s evacuation shelters are pet-friendly, but you must be prepared before you go. Bring a crate for your pet if you plan to stay in a Hendry County evacuation shelter. If your pet is not accustomed to being confined, acclimate it to the crate before an emergency to help alleviate stress.
The shelters operate under a first-come, first-served basis and there is no pre-registration required. You must shelter at the school with your pet (in other words, you cannot drop your pet at the shelter and leave). Owners are responsible for feeding, exercising and cleaning up after their pets.
YOUR PET WILL NEED A HURRICANE DISASTER KIT
Make a disaster kit for your pet. Include water, non-perishable food, medications and clean-up supplies. You will need a crate or carrier, collar and leash, and up-to-date vaccination records for your pet. Having a recent photo of your pet will be helpful if you get separated. For more information visit https://www.ready.gov/pets.
Hendry County evacuation shelters accept only domestic dogs and cats.
Hendry County Emergency recommends the following items to bring to an emergency shelter:
• Disinfectant wipes,
• Hand sanitizer,
• One to two facial masks for everyone in your group,
• Flashlight (in case your center loses power),
• Your insurance, Medicare or Medicaid cards, driver license or photo I.D.,
• Your children’s immunization and other important health and insurance records,
• LaBelle Middle School-8000 E. Cowboy Way, LaBelle, FL
• Clewiston High School - 1501 S. Francisco Street, Clewiston, FL
• Pioneer Community Center - 910 Panama Avenue, Clewiston, FL
• Country Oaks Elementary School - 2052 Eucalyptus Dr. NW, LaBelle, FL
• Clewiston Middle School - 601 E. Pasadena Avenue, Clewiston, FL
LaBelle High School - 4050 E. Cowboy Way, LaBelle FL
SPECIAL NEEDS SHELTER:
• LJ Nobles Senior Center - 475 East Cowboy Way, LaBelle, FL
(Just East of the LaBelle Airport)
Weapons, smoking and alcoholic beverages are PROHIBITED at all shelters.