The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th, and if you live or work in Manatee County Florida, here is how Manatee County residents can prepare for a hurricane.
Sign Up for Alert Manatee
If you live or work in Manatee County, you’ll want to sign up for Alert Manatee! You’ll receive alerts for emergency updates such as evacuation alerts, boil water advisories, water outages, air quality alerts, sewage spills, evacuation shelter openings, hazardous traffic or road conditions as well as weather alerts from the National Weather Service.
Subscribers can opt to receive notifications by phone call, text, or email.
You can sign up for notifications by creating an account on the Everbridge website here.
Evacuation Levels in Manatee County
You probably know if you live in a flood zone or not, but do you know your evacuation level? Evacuation levels are NOT the same as flood zones, they determine which residence will be evacuated first when a hurricane strikes. Evacuation levels are labeled A through E, A is considered the “lowest” and therefore those residents will be evacuated first. It is recommended that if your home falls between two different levels, that you evacuate with the lowest level.
All residents in mobile homes, manufactured homes, RVs, and travel trailers must evacuate when hurricane evacuation Level A is issued, regardless of where you’re located.
It is recommended that you check your evacuation level every year since they change as new data becomes available and as the coastline changes.
Manatee County Emergency Shelters
Emergency shelters only open as needed during hurricane evacuations and should only be used as your last option. It is always recommended that you stay with friends, relatives or make other arrangements (if possible) if you are told to evacuate your residence. Only go to an emergency shelter once local officials announce through the media that shelters are open.
If you have a pet, make accommodations for them as well. Never leave your pet(s) behind! If you plan on taking your pet to an emergency shelter, remember that only some shelters are pet-friendly and strict pet sheltering requirements are put in place.
Sandbag Distribution Locations in Manatee County
Sandbags help protect your home from flood water damage so ahead of big storms, Manatee County will open several sandbag filling locations. Residents of Manatee County are allowed to fill 10 bags per household with proof of a valid ID.
Here is a list of sandbag distribution locations. Not all locations will operate before every storm. Some locations will distribute prefilled sandbags, others are self-service, so it is recommended that you wear appropriate shoes and bring gloves and a shovel with you. If you visit a self-service station, note that sandbags take a considerable amount of work and time to fill. Sandbags can weigh between 35-50 pounds each, so 10 bags can add around 500 pounds to your vehicle.
Manatee County Special Needs Registry
The Special Needs Registry is a service offered to residents of Manatee County who will require transportation or sheltering assistance when they are notified to evacuate their residence because of a storm. If you require evacuation transportation or require sheltering assistance, you must preregister here.
Eligible conditions for the Special Needs Shelter include, but are not limited to:
- Being dependent on supplemental oxygen
- Being dependent on electricity for survival
- Official Diagnosis of: Dementia / Alzheimer’s Disease
Even if you have one of these conditions all applications are reviewed by the Department of Health Manatee for approval or denial. The application and checklists are available here. Annual registration is required.
Learn how to create a hurricane supply kit here: https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/manateeco/2023/08/03/hurricane-supply-kit/
Here are some emergency food supply ideas: https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/manateeco/2023/08/01/emergency-food-supply-ideas/
References – How Manatee County Residence Can Prepare for a Hurricane
For more information about Nelly Nelson, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, please visit: https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/manatee/nutrition-and-healthy-living/family-and-consumer-sciences/