Evacuation IconResidents in low-lying areas, barrier islands and mobile homes should seek shelter when conditions warrant. Many coastal roads could be underwater well in advance of a storm, restricting their use as evacuation routes.

If you are going to leave the area, be prepared to evacuate early and head inland to avoid the high winds and heavy rains preceding a storm.

If an evacuation is called for, and you do not evacuate, you will be without fire rescue, law enforcement or emergency medical support until winds and waters subside.

If your home was built after 2002, and you are not in an evacuation zones, you may be more comfortable sheltering in place. A 2005 University of Florida study concluded that homes built under the 2002 Florida Building Code sustained less damage on average than homes built between 1994 and 2001 under the Standard Building Code. Homes built before 1994 also fared worse than those built after that year.

If you’ve determined that your home is not safe to ride out a storm

Stay with a friend or leave the area
Emergency management agencies recommend you arrange a “host home” outside the evacuation level. A host home is the home of a friend or family member who has agreed to provide temporary shelter for you and your family. Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the “family contact.” Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address and phone number of the family contact.

Move to an evacuation center
In the event of a hurricane watch, Sarasota County will open all evacuation centers at the same time. Hurricane evacuation centers are not hotels and will not be able to provide any conveniences or luxuries. You will have no privacy, limited space approximately 20 square feet per person in a public classroom or hallway, and meal service may be delayed. Evacuation centers cannot provide bedding, cots or blankets.

  • Going to an evacuation center should always be considered a last resort measure. 
  • Never go to an evacuation center until local officials announce it is open.
  • Checking in and then leaving (for example, to get supplies) will not be permitted.
  • Evacuation center information will be updated here, on the county’s website, on local radio and television stations and on the county’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.


  • Social distancing will be observed in evacuation centers. Because of reduced space, consider making alternative arrangements with friends/family before seeking an evacuation center.
  • Sarasota County cannot guarantee a virus-free facility. All evacuees will be screened for health upon arrival and before registration. Be prepared to wait in line (or in your car) to be screened.
  • Depending on the results of health screening, evacuees may be designated to a medical observation area.
  • Masks will be required at all times, except when eating/drinking.

How to get to an Evacuation Center

  • Personal transportation.
  • Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) service:
    • SCAT's modified Sunday bus route.
  • Get to a transportation rally point.
    • For those who cannot otherwise be transported by family, friends or neighbors, Sarasota County will provide last-resort bus transportation for you and your pets (along with a limited amount of supplies) to and from a general population evacuation center. Transportation will be offered at designated rally points throughout the county.
    • Bring a face mask and be prepared to wear it on the bus.

If you cannot drive to a rally point:

  • Complete the online registration form, NOW.
  • The form will include guidance for those who cannot drive or walk to a designated rally point.

Hurricane Evacuation Centers


Fruitville Elementary School

601 N. Honore Ave.,

Brookside Middle School

3636 S. Shade Ave.,

Southside Elementary School

1901 Webber St.,

Riverview High School

1 Ram Way,

Booker High School

3201 N. Orange Ave.,

Phillippi Shores Elementary

4747 S. Tamiami Trail,

Gulf Gate Elementary School

6500 S. Lockwood Ridge Road,

North Port High School

6400 W. Price Blvd.,
North Port

Heron Creek Middle School

6501 W. Price Blvd.,
North Port

Woodland Middle School

2700 Panacea Blvd.,
North Port

Atwater Elementary School 4701 Huntsville Ave.,
North Port