How to Prepare for Tropical Depressions, Tropical Storms and Hurricanes | Polk County Moms
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Whether you have experienced numerous hurricanes or this is your first hurricane we have tips to help you be prepared. Now is a good time to make or review your emergency supply kit, review your family safety plan, make sure you have the current information on shelters, confirm the contact numbers for your county, and check your evacuation zone.

We also have suggestions on how to keep your kids entertained before and during the storm.

Emergency Supply Kit

Having an emergency supply kit prepared takes a lot of the anxiety out of weathering storms. It can seem like a daunting task at first but realistically once your kit is ready you only have to update it as needed. First, you need to determine what supplies you have and what items you need to get.

These tips below are from the State of Florida:

Non-perishable food (enough to last at least 3 days)
Water (enough to last at least 3 days)
First-aid kit (include any prescription medication you may need)
Personal hygiene items and sanitation items
Flashlights (have extra batteries on hand)
Battery-operated radio (again, have extra batteries)
Waterproof container with cash and important documents
Manual can opener
Lighter or matches
Books, magazines, games for recreation
Special needs items: pet supplies and baby supplies if applicable
Cooler and ice packs
A plan for evacuation and for if family members are separated
Potable battery charger for charging electronics

Now that you have an inventory of what you need to purchase or replenish put everything together where it is accessible. It can be a closet, a storage bin, or a box – it doesn’t matter – what matters is you can get to it easily, it is portable in case you have to evacuate and everyone in your home knows where it is.

Knowing your Flood Zone, Evacuation Zone & Route
Evacuation Zone:

Because Florida has lots of low-lying areas, lakes, and coastal areas it is susceptible to flooding and storm surges. Storm surges can move buildings resulting in more damage than hurricane winds. The best way to be prepared for a hurricane storm surge is to know your evacuation zone.

Do you know your Evacuation Zone? When evacuations are ordered they are done by Zone. Zones are called by a letter.

Check your zone HERE  by entering your address.

Florida Evacuation Zone Table

Evacuation Route:

Evacuation routes are developed to help people leave the area efficiently and safely. Most interior counties do not have designated evacuation zones. However, you can view all the counties and their routes HERE

View the Evacuation Route for Hillsborough HERE
View the Evacuation Route for Polk HERE

Family Safety Plan

A family safety plan can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. Ideally, you want everyone to know where to meet, how to contact each other, and whom to contact in case you are separated or someone is incapacitated. A more complex plan can include household members’ names, contact numbers, a list of medications per person, social media handles, as well as copies of important documents. This can be kept inside the Safety Kit or emailed to everyone or texted to everyone’s devices.

This Family Emergency Plan from FEMA covers everything from out-of-town contacts to doctors’ information. You can also use this Make a Plan Form from the Unites States Government that allows you to email it as a pdf.

Keeping Kids Busy Before & During the Storm

Storms mean inside time and for many kids -and adults – which can be downright boring. In my household, it usually means lots of eating and watching the news or weather channel. A little prep before the storm can make a world of difference and it doesn’t require buying anything or lots of space.

  1. Play Board Games – Gather around and play a game suitable for the family. From Pictionary to Monopoly to Sorry – this is a great way to focus on something besides the storms and have fun together.
  2. Read a story with your kids and talk about it. Ask what they thought of the story. Is there something they would change about the story?
  3. Sit together and color or draw. Have everyone draw a cat or a house or a person. Who is a great artist and who is the abstract artist in the family?
  4. Play a card game together. You may have a card shark in your mist and not even know it!
  5. Ask each other questions and get to know each other better. Here are some suggestions
  • What famous person do people think you look like?
  • What is your favorite holiday and why?
  • If you were invisible for a day what would you do?
  • What is the funniest joke you’ve heard?
  • What hidden talent do you have?
  • If you could only eat one thing for life what would it be?
  • Would you rather live underwater, on land, or in space?
  • What is your favorite restaurant?
  • What was the best day you have ever had?
  • If you could be good at one thing what would it be?

 

Information for Polk County, Florida

Polk County Shelters by City

Shelters are opened as they are needed. Please confirm the shelter is open before heading over to it. As a reminder weapons and alcohol are prohibited in Public Shelters.

AUBURNDALE
Auburndale High School
1 Bloodhound Tr, Auburndale

Jere L. Stambaugh Middle School
226 N. Main St, Auburndale

Walter Caldwell Elementary School
141 Dairy Rd, Auburndale

BARTOW
Florida Department of HealthPolk Specialty Care Unit
1255 Brice Blvd, Bartow

Bartow High School
1270 S. Broadway Ave, Bartow

Stephens Elementary School
1350 N. Maple Ave, Bartow

Spessard L. Holland Elementary School
2342 E.F. Griffin Rd, Bartow

DAVENPORT
Citrus Ridge Academy
1775 Sand Mine Rd, Davenport

Davenport School of the Arts
4751 North CR 547, Davenport

Horizons Elementary School
1700 Forest Lake Dr, Davenport

Loughman Oaks Elementary School
4600 US Hwy 17-92 N., Davenport

Ridge Community High School
500 Orchid Dr, Davenport

Ridgeview Global Studies Academy
1000 Dunson Rd, Davenport

EAGLE LAKE
Lake Region High School
1995 Thunder Rd, Eagle Lake

Pinewood Elementary School
1400 Gilbert St, Eagle Lake

HAINES CITY
16 Alta Vista Elementary School
801 Scenic Hwy S., Haines City

Haines City High School
2800 Hornet Dr, Haines City

Sandhill Elementary School
1801 Tyner Rd, Haines City

Shelley S. Boone Middle School
225 S. 22nd St, Haines City

LAKELAND
Combee Elementary School
2805 Morgan Combee Rd, Lakeland

George Jenkins High School Freshman Academy
6000 Lakeland Highlands Rd, Lakeland

Highlands Grove Elementary School
4510 Lakeland Highlands Rd, Lakeland

Kathleen Elementary School
3515 Sherertz Rd, Lakeland

Kathleen High School
1100 Red Devil Way, Lakeland

Lake Gibson High School
7007 N. Socrum Loop Rd, Lakeland

Lakeland Highlands Middle School
740 Lake Miriam Dr, Lakeland

Philip O’Brien Elementary School
1225 E. Lime St, Lakeland

Lincoln Avenue Academy
1330 N. Lincoln Ave, Lakeland

McKeel Academy of Technology
1810 W. Parker St, Lakeland

Dr. N.E. Roberts Elementary School
6600 Green Rd, Lakeland

Rochelle School of the Arts
1501 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave, Lakeland

Scott Lake Elementary School
1140 Hwy 540A E., Lakeland

Sleepy Hill Elementary School
2285 Sleepy Hill Rd, Lakeland

Southwest Elementary School
2650 Southwest Ave, Lakeland

Tenoroc High School
4905 Saddle Creek Rd, Lakeland

R. Bruce Wagner Elementary School
5500 Yates Rd, Lakeland

LAKE ALFRED
Karen M. Siegel Academy
935 Evenhouse Rd, Lake Alfred

LAKE WALES
Spook Hill Elementary School
321 Dr. J.A. Wiltshire Ave E., Lake Wales

MULBERRY
Mulberry Middle School
500 S.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave, Mulberry

Purcell Elementary School
305 N.E. 1st Ave, Mulberry

POLK CITY
Donald Bronson Community Center
124 Bronson Trl, Polk City

POINCIANA
Lake Marion Creek Middle School
3055 Lake Marion Creek Dr, Poinciana

Laurel Elementary School
1851 Laurel Ave, Poinciana

Palmetto Elementary School
315 Palmetto St, Poinciana

WINTER HAVEN
Chain of Lakes Elementary
7001 Hwy 653, Winter Haven

Jewett School of the Arts
2250 8th St N.E., Winter Haven

Winter Haven High School
600 6th St S.E., Winter Haven

Polk County Shelters for Special Needs & Elderly
Special Needs & Elderly 

Polk County offers assistance to those with special needs, the elderly, and those who require transportation to a shelter. The program also provides transportation to public shelters and pet-friendly shelters for those unable to evacuate on their own. Pre-registration in the program, for medical needs or for transportation only, is preferred. To register for a special needs shelter and/or transportation: Call the Polk County Emergency Management Special Needs Program at (863) 298-7027

Complete the Special Needs Registration Form, or the Spanish Polk County Special Needs Registration Form, and fax: (863) 298-7172 or mail to: Polk County Emergency Management Special Need Shelter Registration, 1890 Jim Keene Blvd. Winter Haven, FL 33880

The Special Needs Shelters are:
McKeel Academy of Technology
1810 W. Parker St
Lakeland, Fl

Ridge Community High School
500 Orchid Dr
Davenport, Fl

Florida Department of Health – Polk Specialty Care Unit
1255 Brice Blvd
Bartow, Fl

Polk County Pet-Friendly Shelters
Pet-Friendly Shelters

There are 3 pet-friendly shelters in Polk County. Pre-registration is highly advised. Only cats, dogs, and birds are allowed as pets in the shelters.  The Pet-Friendly shelters are:

  • Lake Region High School
    1995 Thunder Rd
    Eagle Lake, Fl
  • Haines City High School
    2800 Hornet Dr
    Haines City
  • Tenoroc High School
    4905 Saddle Creek Rd
    Lakeland, Fl

There are additional shelter requirements to use these shelters such as:

  1. Complete vaccination records for each pet
  2. An airline-approved carrying case where the animal brought to the shelter will stay
  3. Food for the pet for at least a seven-day period
  4. A document signed by the pet owner acknowledging the requirement that the pet will be with the owner the whole time they are in the shelter.

Failure to comply with any of these items could prohibit the use of the shelter.

 

Polk Emergency Contact info & How to stay Informed

Staying informed during a storm is essential. Alert Polk allows officials to send out information quickly and efficiently.
Register for Alert Polk
NOAA Weather Radio Frequencies for Polk: 162.500 and 162.550 MHz

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Information for Hillsborough County, Florida

Hillsborough County Shelters by City

Shelters are opened as they are needed. Please confirm the shelter is open before heading over to it. As a reminder weapons and alcohol are prohibited in Public Shelters. You can search which shelter is closest to you using this map

BRANDON
BRANDON HIGH SCHOOL
1101 VICTORIA ST., BRANDON

MCLANE MIDDLE SCHOOL
306 N. KNIGHTS AVE., BRANDON

DOVER
NELSON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
5413 DURANT RD., DOVER

LITHIA
BARRINGTON MIDDLE SCHOOL
5925 VILLAGE CENTER DR., LITHIA

BEVIS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
5720 OSPREY RIDGE DR., LITHIA

NEWSOME HIGH SCHOOL
16550 FISH HAWK BLVD., LITHIA

STOWERS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
13915 BARRINGTON STOWERS DR., LITHIA

LUTZ
MCKITRICK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
5503 LUTZ LAKE FERN RD., LUTZ

ODESSA
HAMMOND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
8008 N. MOBLEY RD., ODESSA

PLANT CITY
CORK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
3501 N. CORK RD., PLANT CITY

KNIGHTS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
4815 N. KEENE RD., PLANT CITY

MARSHALL MIDDLE SCHOOL
18 S. MARYLAND AVE., PLANT CITY

SIMMONS CAREER CENTER
1202 W. GRANT ST., PLANT CITY

TOMLIN MIDDLE SCHOOL
501 N. WOODROW WILSON ST., PLANT CITY

TURKEY CREEK MIDDLE SCHOOL
5005 S. TURKEY CREEK RD., PLANT CITY

WILSON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
702 ENGLISH ST., PLANT CITY

RIVERVIEW
BOYETTE SPRINGS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
10141 SEDGEBROOK DR., RIVERVIEW

COLLINS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
12424 SUMMERFIELD BLVD., RIVERVIEW

SESSUMS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
11525 RAMBLE CREEK DR., RIVERVIEW

SUMMERFIELD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
11990 BIG BEND RD., RIVERVIEW

RUSKIN
CYPRESS CREEK ELEMENTARY
4040 19TH AVE. NE, RUSKIN

SHIELDS MIDDLE SCHOOL
15732 BETH SHIELDS WAY, RUSKIN

SEFFNER
BURNETT MIDDLE SCHOOL
1010 N. KINGSWAY RD., SEFFNER

JENNINGS MIDDLE SCHOOL
9325 GOVERNORS RUN DR., SEFFNER

TAMPA
BENITO MIDDLE SCHOOL
10101 CROSS CREEK BLVD., TAMPA

BOWERS-WHITLEY CAREER CENTER
13609 N. 22ND ST., TAMPA

CANNELLA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
10707 NIXON RD., TAMPA

HERITAGE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
18201 E. MEADOW DR., TAMPA

LAKE MAGDALENE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
2002 PINE LAKE DR., TAMPA

LOCKHART ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
3719 N. 17TH ST., TAMPA

MIDDLETON HIGH SCHOOL
4801 N. 22ND ST., TAMPA

MORT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
1806 E. BEARSS AVE., TAMPA

MULLER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
13615 N. 22ND ST., TAMPA

PIZZO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
11701 BULL RUN RD., TAMPA

PRIDE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
18271 KINNAN ST., TAMPA

SHEEHY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
6402 N. 40TH ST., TAMPA

SMITH MIDDLE SCHOOL
14303 CITRUS POINTE DR., TAMPA

TURNER/BARTELS MIDDLE SCHOOL
9020 IMPERIAL OAK BLVD., TAMPA

WHARTON HIGH SCHOOL
20150 BRUCE B. DOWNS BLVD., TAMPA

TEMPLE TERRACE
GRECO MIDDLE SCHOOL
6925 E. FOWLER AVE., TEMPLE TERRACE

VALRICO
BLOOMINGDALE HIGH SCHOOL
1700 E. BLOOMINGDALE AVE., VALRICO

CIMINO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
4329 CULBREATH RD., VALRICO

MULRENNAN MIDDLE SCHOOL
4215 DURANT RD., VALRICO

VALRICO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
609 S. MILLER RD., VALRICO

WIMAUMA
REDDICK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
325 WEST LAKE DR., WIMAUMA

Hillsborough County Shelters for Special Needs & Elderly
Special Needs & Elderly 

Hillsborough County provides a shelter program for those who require special medical-related care. Special needs shelters are for those who need more skilled medical care than available in a public shelter but not enough to be hospitalized. Contact the Hillsborough County Special Needs Shelter Registration Line at 813-307-8063 for registration into this program or complete the online registration form HERE 

You can also print out the form and mail it in. Get the form in English HERE and Spanish HERE.  Send the completed evaluation form via mail to:
Hillsborough County Health Department
P.O. Box 5135
Tampa, FL 33675-5135

The Special Needs Shelters are:

  • BARRINGTON MIDDLE SCHOOL
    5925 VILLAGE CENTER DR
    LITHIA, FL
  • NEWSOME HIGH SCHOOL
    16550 FISH HAWK BLVD
    LITHIA, FL
  • MARSHALL MIDDLE SCHOOL
    18 S. MARYLAND AVE
    PLANT CITY, FL
  • SIMMONS CAREER CENTER
    1202 W. GRANT ST.
    PLANT CITY, FL
  • TOMLIN MIDDLE SCHOOL
    501 N. WOODROW WILSON ST.
    PLANT CITY, FL
  • SHIELDS MIDDLE SCHOOL
    15732 BETH SHIELDS WAY
    RUSKIN, FL
  • JENNINGS MIDDLE SCHOOL
    9325 GOVERNORS RUN DR
    SEFFNER, FL
  • BENITO MIDDLE SCHOOL
    10101 CROSS CREEK BLVD
    TAMPA, FL
  • MIDDLETON HIGH SCHOOL
    4801 N. 22ND ST
    TAMPA, FL
  • MULLER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
    13615 N. 22ND ST.
    TAMPA, FL
  • SMITH MIDDLE SCHOOL
    14303 CITRUS POINTE DR.
    TAMPA, FL
  • TURNER/BARTELS MIDDLE SCHOOL
    9020 IMPERIAL OAK BLVD.
    TAMPA, FL
  • WHARTON HIGH SCHOOL
    20150 BRUCE B. DOWNS BLVD.
    TAMPA, FL
  • GRECO MIDDLE SCHOOL
    6925 E. FOWLER AVE
    TEMPLE TERRACE, FL
  • MULRENNAN MIDDLE SCHOOL
    4215 DURANT RD
    VALRICO, FL
  • REDDICK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
    325 WEST LAKE DR.
    WIMAUMA, FL
Hillsborough County Pet-Friendly Shelters
Pet-Friendly Shelters

There are 8 pet-friendly shelters in Hillsborough County. The Pet-Friendly shelters are:

  • BARRINGTON MIDDLE SCHOOL
    5925 VILLAGE CENTER DR
    LITHIA, FL
  • SHIELDS MIDDLE SCHOOL
    15732 BETH SHIELDS WAY
    RUSKIN, FL
  • BURNETT MIDDLE SCHOOL
    1010 N. KINGSWAY RD
    SEFFNER, FL
  • SMITH MIDDLE SCHOOL
    14303 CITRUS POINTE DR
    TAMPA, FL
  • TURKEY CREEK MIDDLE SCHOOL
    5005 S. TURKEY CREEK RD
    PLANT CITY, FL
  • TURNER/BARTELS MIDDLE SCHOOL
    9020 IMPERIAL OAK BLVD
    TAMPA, FL
  • WHARTON HIGH SCHOOL
    20150 BRUCE B. DOWNS BLVD
    TAMPA, FL
  • GRECO MIDDLE SCHOOL
    6925 E. FOWLER AVE
    TEMPLE TERRACE, FL

There are additional shelter requirements to use these shelters. Failure to comply with any of these items could prohibit the use of the shelter.

  1. Proof of current rabies vaccination and license for dogs and cats
  2. Pet must be on a leash or in a carrier
  3. A crate that is large enough for your pet to stand up and turn around. Cats need a crate large enough to contain litter and food/water
  4. Bring all pet supplies including a crate, food, water, litter, treats, cleaning supplies, medicines, etc.
  5. You are responsible for the care of your pet while in the shelter

 

 

Vulnerable Population Registry

Hillsborough County asks that those who choose to stay home during a disaster and are at risk due to disability, frailty, or other issues register with the county. This list does NOT mean the person registered will be placed on a priority list.

To fill out the online form go HERE

 

Hillsborough Emergency Contact info & How to stay Informed

Staying informed during a storm is essential. HCFL Alert allows officials to send out information quickly and efficiently.
Register for HCFL Alert

NOAA Weather RadioHillsborough County Frequency 162.550 MHz, SAME Code 012057

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