Be aware of where you live and whether it is likely you will need to evacuate. If you live on a barrier island, near the coast, in a flood zone or in a mobile home within the warning area, there's a good possibility you'll need to leave. If so, figure out well in advance where you will go - either to the home of a friend or relative, a hotel farther inland or, as a last resort, to a shelter. Use the Hillsborough County Hurricane Evacuation Assessment Tool to determine what evacuation zone you are located in. The Hillsborough County Hurricane Guide can also help you determine if you live in an evacuation zone and can help you identify Red Cross shelters closest to you.

For more information:

Special Needs Shelter Information

In order to be admitted to a special needs shelter you will need to complete an evaluation form prior to an emergency and meet certain eligibility requirements. Once you have completed the evaluation form, you will be contacted for more information and your medical needs and eligibility will be assessed. If you are eligible to be admitted to a special needs shelter you will be assigned to one of three shelters. If you do not qualify for a special needs shelter, other options will be discussed with you.

To register for a special needs shelter and/or transportation, select one of the following options:

  • Call the Hillsborough County Health Department at 813-307-8063 

  • Call your home health care provider

  • Complete an evaluation form (English form and Spanish form) and mail or fax to:
    Hillsborough County Health Department
    P.O. Box 5135
    Tampa, FL 33675-5135

Sheltering Pets 

Public shelters do not accept pets, so if you are planning to evacuate during a storm, you must plan in advance where your pets will go. Do not leave pets home alone. It could be days or weeks before you return and your pets could starve to death, or flooding could cause needless drowning deaths.

There are pet friendly hotels and motels where the entire family can stay, and pet shelters are located throughout the county. Put your pet into a carrier as soon as possible when you are preparing to leave, as this will reduce stress and keep them from getting lost.