Each year, an average of eleven tropical storms develops over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico. Being prepared for a hurricane includes taking actions before a hurricane strikes to lessen the damage and personal danger these storms can cause. You can take precautions long before a storm arrives to minimize the damage a hurricane can do to your possessions and improve your chances of coming through the storm safely.
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Hurricane hazards come in many forms: storm surge, high winds, tornadoes, and flooding. This means it is important for your family to have a plan that includes the "All Hazards Approach." To help you and your family prepare for a natural disaster like a hurricane, the UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters recommends having a disaster kit that will sustain an individual for 7 days. Their information can be found at the link below and includes standard kits, kits for asthma sufferers and kits for diabetics.
Click on the link, when the page opens click the Resources tab on the left and scroll down to Disaster Preparedness Kits.
UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters
The Health Department's Role
The Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa County works closely with the Santa Rosa County Emergency Management Office to coordinate the response to natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornados, flooding, and large communicable disease outbreaks, etc. Joint community efforts are necessary to ensure the safety of food and water supplies during the disaster and recovery phase as well as availability of public information as it pertains to the community's health after a disaster.
Shelters are provided for public use when emergency evacuation becomes necessary and if you have no other place to go. General Red Cross shelters are located at:
Milton Community Center
5629 Byrom St.
Milton, FL 32570
map (.pdf - 42kb)
S.S. Dixon Intermediate School
5540 Education Dr.
Pace, FL 32571
map (.pdf - 31kb)
Special Needs Shelter
For information about the Special Needs Shelter and who is qualified for sheltering, go to the Special Needs portion of the Santa Rosa County Emergency Management website and click on the FAQ tab. The Special Needs Shelter is located at:
Benny Russel Elementary School
3740 Excalibur Way
Milton FL 32583
map (.pdf - 31kb)
Pre-registering is required for the Special Needs Shelter. Santa Rosa County Health Department reviews the medical portion of the application to assign the most appropriate shelter to meet the applicants' needs. To register, go to the Santa Rosa County Emergency Management website, then click on the tab labeled Special Needs Request Application.
Pet Friendly Shelter
To utilize the pet friendly shelter, all pets must have proof of current vaccinations. The only pets allowed in the shelter are cats and dogs. Upon arrival at the shelter pictures will be taken of pets with their owners. Pet owners must stay at the shelter, and will be responsible for caring for their pet and bringing a pet disaster kit. Pet disaster kits should be prepared now, as there may not be time to do so when a disaster hits. For more information on what to include in your pet disaster kit and how to register for the Pet Friendly Shelter, please visit the Santa Rosa County Emergency Management's Hurricane Shelter's web page and click on the Pet Friendly tab.
The pet friendly shelter location:
Avalon Middle School
5445 King Arthur's Way
Milton, FL 3258
map (.pdf - 31kb)
Hurricane Preparedness Websites:
Weather Information and Hurricane Tracking Websites:
Planning for Your Pet Websites:
Sheltering Information Websites:
American Red Cross and Shelters (Northwest Florida)
Are You Ready for a Hurricane?
Santa Rosa County Special Needs Program
Santa Rosa County Hurricane Shelters
Community Disaster Preparedness Websites:
Business Disaster Planning Websites: