ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Hurricane Ian is expected to impact the Tampa Bay area as early as Wednesday and many residents are being asked to evacuate their homes.
Those without an evacuation plan might want to consider staying at one of the shelters their county is offering. Each county has at least one pet-friendly and Special Needs location for those who need it.
With several of the counties in the Tampa Bay area issuing mandatory evacuations, multiple shelters will be available for those who can't evacuate. Here's how to find those shelters:
The Citrus County Sheriff's Office has been posting the latest shelter news on its social media pages. As of Tuesday morning, the sheriff's office has not announced any shelter locations.
Residents who need help with evacuation assistance and do not have the means to evacuate can sign up for the county's voluntary special needs program.
As of 11 p.m. on Monday, Hardee County does not have any shelter open. Special needs shelter information can be found by calling 863-773-6373.
Hernando County will start opening some of its shelters as early as Tuesday at 9 a.m. The county announced three shelters, one for the general public, a pet-friendly location, and a Special Needs location.
- Challenger K-8 – Special Needs
- The Mining Association Enrichment Center – General Population and Pet Friendly
- Explorer K-8 - General Population and Pet Friendly
As of Monday, Highlands County has not announced if any shelters will be available. Visit highlandsfl.gov for updates.
Hillsborough County offers a number of shelters throughout the county. To see which ones will be open this week, go to the Hillsborough County Emergency Management website.
Fourteen shelters were announced in Manatee County. More shelters may open as the storm approaches. Visit the Manatee County website to see which shelters are currently open and to see if they are pet friendly.
Starting on Tuesday at 10 a.m., Pasco County will open multiple shelters throughout the county for anyone that needs to leave their home ahead of Hurricane Ian.
For those who need Special Needs shelter, you are asked to show up and sign up in person. According to the Pasco County Facebook page, they are no longer accepting Special Needs registrations by phone.
Fourteen shelter locations will be open in Pinellas County. Additional locations may open as more news of the storm becomes available. To see the full list of shelters offered in the county go to pinellascounty.org.
Starting at noon Tuesday, Polk County will open 19 shelters. Three types of shelters will be offered.
Special Needs shelters:
- FDOH Polk Specialty Care
- McKeel Academy
- Ridge Community High School
- Tenoroc High School
- Lake Region High School
- Haines City High School
To see the full list of shelters go to polk-county.net
Sarasota County is also offering free transportation to some of these evacuation centers. Those transportation rally points can be found on the county's website.
A full list of the county's shelters can be found at scgov.net.