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Recent Updates

For the most updated information, please continue to monitor your local news media or call the Citizen’s Information Line at 863.401.2234 (locally) or toll-free 866.661.0228.

  • Lakeland Shelter Locations

    Lakeland Shelters (Alpha by Shelter Name):

      • Combee Elementary School | 2805 Morgan Combee Road, Lakeland
      • Dr. N.E. Roberts Elementary School | 6600 Green Rd, Lakeland
      • George Jenkins High School | 6000 Lakeland Highlands Road, Lakeland
      • Highlands Grove Elementary School | 510 Lakeland Highlands Road, Lakeland
      • Kathleen Elementary School | 3515 Sherertz Road, Lakeland
      • Kathleen High School | 1100 Red Devil Way, Lakeland
      • Lake Gibson High School | 7007 N Socrum Loop Road, Lakeland
      • Lakeland Highlands Middle School | 740 Lake Miriam Drive, Lakeland
      • Lincoln Avenue Academy | 1330 N Lincoln Avenue, Lakeland
      • McKeel Academy of Technology | 1810 W Parker Street, Lakeland
      • Phillip O’Brien Elementary | 1255 E. Lime Street, Lakeland
      • R. Bruce Wagner Elementary | 5500 Yates Road, Lakeland
      • Rochelle School of the Arts | 1501 Martin L King Jr Ave, Lakeland
      • Scott Lake Elementary School | 1140 County Road 540A, Lakeland
      • Sleepy Hill Elementary | 2285 Sleepy Hill Drive, Lakeland
      • Southwest Elementary School | 2650 Southwest Avenue, Lakeland
      • Tenoroc High School | 4905 Saddle Creek Road, Lakeland

    Special Needs Shelters

    “Special Needs” Shelters will also open at 7 AM on Saturday, September 9th, for those residents with special medical needs. Polk County Emergency Management Special Needs Program is designed to provide shelter and/or transportation for residents with medical or physical conditions and/or dependent on medical electrical equipment who require assistance during an emergency.

    “Special Needs” Shelters Locations (Lakeland):

    • McKeel Academy of Technology | 1810 W Parker Street, Lakeland

    Pet-Friendly Shelters (Lakeland)

    • Tenoroc High School | 4905 Saddle Creek Road, Lakeland

    Pet owners must bring shot records for their pets, an airline-approved carrying case or crate and pet food.

    Pet-friendly shelters have been established at Lake Region High School (14), Eagle Lake;  Haines City High School (17),HainesCity;and Tenoroc High School (35),Lakeland. Duetospacelimitations,thesiteswillbestrictlypet-friendlyonlyandwillbelimitedto providingshelteronlyfordogs,cats,birdsandtheirowners.

    Asinanyothersheltering situation,consultthelocalmediaorCitizensInformationLinetoensureaspecificshelteris open and operating before proceeding to that facility.

    Additional shelter requirements includecompleteshotrecordsforeachpet,whichwillberevieweduponarrivalatthe shelter;anairline-approvedcarryingcase,inwhicheachanimalbroughttotheshelterwill remain for the duration of their stay; food for the pet for at least a three-day period; and anagreement,signedbythepetowneruponregistration,thatconfirmsthatthepetwill be accompanied by an owner throughout the duration of the sheltering. Failure to comply with any of these items could preclude someone being able to enter the shelters.

  • Polk County Shelter Locations


    • Auburndale High School
    • Jere L. Stambaugh Middle School
    • Walter Caldwell Elementary School


    • Polk County Health Department Specialty Care Units
    • Bartow High School
    • Stephens Elementary School
    • Spessard L. Holland Elementary


    • Citrus Ridge Academy
    • Davenport School of the Arts
    • Horizons Elementary School
    • Loughman Oaks Elementary School
    • Ridge Community High School
    • Ridgeview Global Studies Academy

    Eagle Lake

    • Lake Region High School
    • Pinewood Elementary School

    Haines City

    • Alta Vista Elementary School
    • Haines City High School
    • Sandhill Elementary School
    • Shelley S. Boone Middle School

    Lake Alfred

    • Karen M. Siegel Academy

    Lake Wales

    • Spook Hill Elementary School


    • Mulberry Middle School
    • Purcell Elementary School

    Polk City

    • Donald Bronson Community Center
  • Emergency Public Shelters Info

    Not all public shelters are automatically activated for each emergency. They are opened as needed and are not pre-assigned by geographic area. During an emergency please monitor Polk County Government Television, other local television and radio stations for open shelter information. Have your 72-hour survival kit ready to take with you.

    Weapons and alcoholic beverages are not allowed at any public shelter.

  • Special Needs Shelter Info

    A special needs shelter is an emergency facility capable of providing special medical or nursing care which does not necessitate an acute care hospital setting.

    Eligible persons desiring special needs sheltering should pre-register with Emergency Management by calling 863.298.7027

    ***Download a Special Needs Registration Form***

    A special needs shelter is a temporary emergency facility capable of providing care to residents whose medical condition may require the use of electrical equipment, oxygen, dialysis, or individuals with physical, cognitive, or medical conditions who may require assistance from medical professionals. Although special needs shelters provide more care than a general shelter, they do not provide the level of care found in a medical facility.

    After a Hurricane: Important Notice for Those with Special Needs Whose Power Has NOT Been Restored

    If you have a loved one that requires special needs and they are without power, please get them to the special needs shelter set in place the Polk County Emergency Operations Center. The Bartow Health Department Specialty Care Unit is still up and running. Please call the Polk County Health Department in Bartow at 863.298.7090, 863.298.7089 or 863.298.7088. Special Needs Shelters are in place for you and your loved ones with special needs. 

    Click here to learn more about Polk County's Special Needs Shelters.

    Lakeland Electric crews and mutual aid crews are working diligently to get all LE customer’s power restored. As you know, the entire state of Florida got hit pretty hard by Hurricane Irma and at the height of the storm Lakeland Electric had 80% of our customers without power.  We are now at 9% without power and that number is getting better by the hour.   

    There are some very large rebuild projects going on right now and we have crews in the neighborhoods doing their very best to get power restored. In all, over 300 individuals are working 16 hours shifts to get power restored.  We can’t give you a specific date or time when power will be restored because it is such a dynamic process. 

  • Pet-Friendly Shelter Info

    Polk County has two pet-friendly shelters that allow residents who own pets to shelter with their pets. Pre-registration is strongly suggested to ensure you have a spot at the shelter and some limitations apply.

    ONLY dogs, cats and birds and their owners will be allowed to shelter in Polk’s pet-friendly shelters.

    Download our ‘Don’t Forget Pets’ flyer for complete information including:

    • How to register
    • Pet shelter guidelines and requirements
    • What to do before the storm
    • Preparing a pet survival kit
    • Weathering the storm at home
  • Important Social Media Accounts to Follow

    City of Lakeland Public Information Officers (PIOs) will share breaking news and disseminate information throughout hurricanes and other emergency situations.

    1. City of Lakeland
    2. Lakeland Electric
    3. Lakeland Fire Department
    4. Lakeland Police Department
    5. Polk County Emergency Management:

    Additional accounts will be added soon.

Evacuating Your Home

It is the policy of Emergency Management to recommend in-place shelter as the primary option during a disaster. For those unable to remain in place, especially those in mobile homes, the remaining choices should be considered in order of preference. Whichever of the following options is selected, it is advised that a 72-hour survival kit be assembled and ready, a course of action be planned, and that the plans be executed as soon as practicable before the disaster hits.

Recommended options are:

  • In-Place Shelter | Plan to remain in residence during the emergency, if possible.
  • Evacuate to Friends or Relative Residence - If forced to evacuate, it is less traumatic for all concerned to be sheltered with familiar people, in more comfortable surroundings.
  • Evacuate the Area - Pther people leaving this area or areas in the projected path of the storm will also be on the road; leave at least 48-72 hours before the storm is expected to strike.
  • Evacuate to the Hotel/Motel | Make arrangements early as rooms will fill quickly with other evacuees.
  • Evacuate to a Public Shelter | Please see the Public Shelter policy. Download the 2018 Polk County Hurricane Shelters Map, or visit a Polk County Public Library or Publix Super Market near you to pick up a hard copy.

Polk County Public Shelters Info

Shelters Outside of Lakeland