Evacuation & Shelters

As information becomes available from the National Hurricane Center, local and state officials will be analyzing the forecasts to determine when to order an evacuation.  An evacuation order may come from local officials and/or the Governor.

Stay tuned to local television/radio broadcast stations for evacuation instructions.  Travel with care.  Evacuation orders are mandatory.

If You Stay at Home

  • Stay indoors
  • Stay away from windows and glass doors.
  • Keep television/radio tuned to local broadcast stations
  • Remain calm
  • Fill water containers (sterilize bathtubs) with a week's supply of water
  • If the storm's center or "eye" passes directly over, there will be a lull in the wind lasting from a few minutes to over a half hour (or more).  Stay in a safe place.  Make emergency repairs during the lull if necessary, but remember the wind will return suddenly from the opposite direction, frequently with even greater force.

If You Must Evacuate

  • Shut off all gas valves and main water valves, as well as the main electrical switch, before leaving your home
  • Take important documents with you, especially insurance policies and documents establishing home ownership.
  • Be alert for tornadoes, which are often spawned by hurricanes
  • Carry along survival supplies, ideally in large plastic garbage bags
  • Bring medicine and/or any other specialty items
  • Do not bring pets, alcoholic beverages, or weapons to Red Cross shelters
  • Take warm, protective clothing

Categories 1 & 2 Hurricanes

  • Evacuation: Visitors are evacuated ahead of residents.  A mandatory evacuation of residents isn't issued unless a Category 3 or greater hurricane is expected.
  • Shelters: Key West High School
    2100 Flagler Avenue

Categories 3 through 5 Hurricanes

  • Evacuation: Mandatory evacuation of visitors occurs first, followed by the same for residents a day or so later as conditions dictate.
  • Shelters: No shelters will be open anywhere in the Florida Keys
    • Main Shelter: Monroe County residents and their pets can seek public shelter at the E Darwin Fuchs Pavilion located at the Miami-Dade County Fair and Exposition:
      10901 SW 24th Street
      Miami, FL
      • Directions: Take the Florida Turnpike Extension from Florida City to exit 23; take the ramp right toward SW 40th Street (Bird Road); Take a slight left onto SW 117th Avenue; Take 1st right at lights, SW 40th Street (Bird Road); Turn left at SW 112th Avenue; Turn right on 24th Street; then make U-turn; Entrance on the right

Special Needs Patients

FIU's Recreation Center remains the relocation center for Monroe's special-needs patients, like those requiring regular medical attention.  View the Special Needs Registry.