Bartow, Fla. (September 9, 2017) — Polk County public shelters are now open. Residents requiring assistance for transportation to special needs shelters have begun moving into their shelters. Polk County’s Emergency Management division says now is the time to decide whether you should move to a shelter, or shelter in place.
Polk County residents who live in manufactured and mobile homes, or in areas of the county that historically are prone to flooding following heavy rains, should evacuate and take advantage of open shelters during Hurricane Irma. This mandatory evacuation includes people who live in manufactured and mobile homes, and areas of the county that are most vulnerable including:
- Itchepackesassa Creek, bordered by Deeson Road, the County Line, Ariana Street and Chestnut Street;
- Gator Creek, in extreme northwest Polk bordered by the County Line on the north and west, Marcum Road on the south and Highway 33 on the east;
- Lake Lowery’s northwest side of the lake;
- Saddlebag Lake, and
- River Ranch.
You should only decide to shelter in place if you live in a secure structure that is not a mobile or manufactured home. When sheltering in place, you should:
- Bring your pets indoors
- Secure outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, garden decorations and anything else that could become a flying projectile
- Be sure you and your family have a safe room in which to ride out the storm. This should be a room that is in the interior part of your home with no windows.
- Get your survival kit out and ready. Be sure to pull out your weather radio so you can keep up with current weather conditions.