Orange County now has five shelters for South Florida evacuees escaping Irma


Orange County has now opened five host shelters for South Florida and coastal evacuees trying to escape the potential devastation of Hurricane Irma.

Host shelters are for evacuees traveling from other counties in Florida. If you plan to stay at a shelter, bring an emergency supply kit, a pillow, blanket, toiletries, important papers, medications, snacks, water, flashlight and other essential personal items that will last you at least 72 hours. County officials are asking people bringing their pets to the host shelters to bring their animals on a leash and in a crate along with water, food, medications and vaccination records. The five host shelters in Orange County include:

Ocoee High School, 1925 Ocoee Crown Point Parkway, Ocoee.

Meadow Woods Middle School, 1800 Rhode Island Woods Circle, Orlando.

Gotha Middle School, 9155 Gotha Road, Windermere.

Hunter's Creek Middle School, 13400 Town Loop Blvd., Orlando.

Lakeview Middle School, 1200 W. Bay St, Winter Garden.

Additionally, the Islamic Center of Orlando announced it is opening its doors at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9 for anyone seeking refuge from Irma. Make sure to bring your own bedding and supplies.

Orange County has also opened 10 shelters for the general residential population, two of which are pet-friendly. The only residents currently under a mandatory evacuation in Orange County are those who live in mobile homes, which are at a high risk for damage during the storm. People requiring special needs shelters in Orange County need to call 311 or 407-836-3111 to find out more information. The 10 listed shelters include:

Apopka High School, 555 Martin St., Apopka, for the general population.

Colonial High School, 6100 Oleander Drive, Orlando, for the general population. On Saturday afternoon, Orange County officials said shelter at Colonial High School is near capacity and are encouraging residents to go to Union Park Middle School.

Union Park Middle School, 1844 Westfall Drive, Orlando, for the general population.

East River High School, 654 Columbia School Road, Orlando, for the general population.

Edgewater High School, 3100 Edgewater Drive, Orlando, for the general population.

Memorial Middle School, 2220 29th St., Orlando, for the general population.

Odyssey Middle School, 9290 Lee Vista Blvd., Orlando, for the general population.

West Orange High School, 1625 Beulah Road, Winter Garden, for the general population.

Barnett Park Community Center, 4801 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando, a pet-friendly shelter for the general population.

Bithlo Community Center, 18501 Washington Ave., Orlando, a pet-friendly shelter for the general population.

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