Hurricane Prep, Shelters


If a Hurricane threatens Lee County, the Lee County Emergency Operations Center will open Emergency Shelters. These shelters provide a safe place to weather a storm, not necessarily a comfortable one. Shelters offer only the most basic of life-sustaining necessities, are noisy and crowded and should not be your first choice during an evacuation. Plan to bring your own supplies, including 3 days’ worth of food/water, medications, clothing, sleeping bag, etc. Residents are urged to plan to use an alternate safe location if evacuation is ordered. If you have no place else to go, public emergency shelters will be open. No pre-registration is necessary. Follow local media for a list of open shelters during storm preparations.


Service animals, defined as a dog or miniature horse that is trained to perform a service, are allowed at all shelters. Comfort or emotional support animals are not service animals. Pet-friendly shelters will be opened in a storm. No registration is necessary, but be ready to bring your pet to a shelter by having a collar & leash, secure carrier, non-perishable food and water, medications, pet waste bags and current vaccination records for your pet. Pets should have identification on its collar. Consider microchipping your pet now. If you have exotic pets, check with your veterinarian for shelter suggestions.

Special Needs Shelter

Lee County provides a Special Needs Shelter Program at no cost for those residents whose health would quickly deteriorate in a public shelter and who have no other place to go. You MUST complete an application EVERY YEAR at or by calling
239-533-0622. Lee County stops processing applications when the county enters the 5-day forecast cone of a storm, so register now if you or a loved one qualifies. Special Needs Shelters are for those  with medical needs that require the use of oxygen, ventilators, nebulizers, dialysis, IV pumps, etc. Those with moderate/advanced dementia or neuromuscular disorders also qualify. A companion caregiver must accompany the person at the shelter. Shelter survival supplies for both the special needs person and their caregiver should be brought to the shelter. During the application process, you can indicate if you need help with transportation. You can bring your dog or cat with you to a Special Needs Shelter, though they will be housed in a separate area.

Learn more about hurricane preparation with the Lee Hazards Guide at