Temporary shelter for those who
must evacuate their homes for a hurricane.
Pinellas County is at risk for severe storm surge flooding. Despite ongoing education, there are citizens who live in evacuation (or storm surge) zones in Pinellas County who still do not have plans for safe shelter when a storm approaches.
If a Category 3 hurricane is headed to Pinellas County, about 391,000 people would need to evacuate surge vulnerable areas or mobile homes. With approximately 74,000 public shelter spaces, alternative shelter is needed.
Some people stay in the county at a hotel or a relative’s house in a non-evacuation area. Others may be able to leave early enough to drive hundreds of miles out of harm’s way.
But for others – many of whom are elderly or pet owners – additional local opportunities are needed. For them, organizations that set up a voluntary Host Homes program can help.
Employers, places of worship, civic organizations and community groups are among the organizations that can establish their own voluntary Host Homes programs that they operate for their own employees or members. It gives an opportunity for those within an organization who live in a secure home in a non-evacuation area to open their home to a fellow member of the same organization who must evacuate.
Keeping the host/guest matches within the organization takes away some of the fear associated with the thought of helping strangers. It allows the volunteer coordinators the freedom to run the program according to the needs of the participating organization.
The program can also benefit pet owners who might otherwise stay home with their pets regardless of the danger.
Host homes is not a county program; it is a voluntary program for community organizations.
Pinellas County Emergency Operations Center
Department of Emergency Management
Citizen Information Center
(during an emergency activation call (727) 464-4333)