What You Need to Know if Evacuating to a Shelter

Shelly Perry spent Thursday night at a shelter at North Miami Beach Senior High School.

“I was here for Andrew and I remember what it did to Homestead,” she said. “For this hurricane, I wanted to go to a shelter.”

She is one of 700 people who registered to stay at the shelter. She says she arrived with personal documents and other sentimental items she wanted to save, but didn’t realize she needed to bring more to the shelter.

“I was prepared mostly with clothing, pictures, birth certificates,” she said.

But she wants others to know they should come prepared to the shelter.

“You need to have bedding, blow-up mattresses, pillows,” she said.

At the North Miami Beach Senior High shelter, many people are sleeping in hallways. 

“We’re on the second floor. It’s a good spot,” said tourist Kenny Bell. “It’s on the floor, but it is what it is.”

Miami-Dade County recommends people planning to go to a shelter, bring the following items:

Infant & child care items, such as formula, diapers, toys, etc.
Personal hygiene items
Comfort materials, such as books, magazines, etc.
Prescription and over-the-counter medications
Drinking water – one gallon per day, per person recommended
Extra clothing
Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled

The county also strongly recommends that you bring portable electronic devices— such as phones and tablets—fully charged as there are limited outlets at shelters.

If you are going to a pet-friendly shelter, you need to bring vaccination records as well as food and water for your pet. Service animals are allowed at shelters.