Alachua County has opened four emergency shelters in anticipation of the approaching Hurricane Ian.
The county opened a special needs shelter at the Alachua County Senior Center, a general population shelter (no pets) at Meadowbrook Elementary and two pet-friendly shelters at Eastside High School and Easton Newberry Archery Center.
Here are the addresses for the four shelters:
General Population (pet-friendly) shelters:
- Easton Newberry Archery Center (24880 N.W. 16th Ave, Newberry)
- Eastside High School (1201 S.E. 43rd Street, Gainesville)
General population (not pet-friendly) shelter:
- Meadowbrook Elementary School (11525 N.W. 39th Ave, Gainesville)
Special needs (service animals only) shelter:
- Alachua County Senior Center (5701 N.W. 34th Blvd., Gainesville)
The special needs shelters provide one cot per patient, according to the county. Caregivers will not receive a bed, so they need to bring bedding.
The pet-friendly shelters are intended for cats, dogs, and their people. Citizens should bring essentials, including collars, leashes, crates, towels, blankets, and pet food/medication.
People with additional storm-related pet needs, such as a large number of animals needing shelter, pot-bellied pigs, horses, or exotic animals, should contact Animal Resources and Care at 352-264-6870 or 311.
Depending on the storm’s severity, local schools may open shelters in designated buildings and facilities.
While packing for a shelter stay, the county recommends bringing special dietary foods and prescription medication. It is encouraged to pack spare clothing, personal care items, spare eyeglasses/contacts and identification.
Shelters are a last resort option, specifically for those living in homes that can be dangerous in high winds, flood-prone areas, and people who have nowhere else to go.
Alachua County Animal Resources and Care and community support services staff will be on-site to encourage public and animal safety.
The county activated the 311 Emergency Information Line for questions. Residents can also register for emergency alerts by texting ALACHUA to 888-777.
For updates on shelter openings, visit Alachua County Ready, and for the latest weather updates, visit the National Weather Service in Jacksonville.