Palm Beach County Emergency Management officials continue to actively monitor Hurricane Irma and its progress toward our area. All residents and visitors should be aware of the potential impacts from this powerful storm. The Palm Beach County Emergency Operations Center will be a full activation (Level 1) at 7 a.m. Friday.
Mandatory evacuations are being ordered for residential structures in Palm Beach County in Zone A, Zone B and expanded Zone E in the Glades, effective at 10 a.m. Friday, September 8. A voluntary evacuation is being issued for residents in Zone C.
Zone A includes mobile homes and low-lying areas prone to water intrusion.
Zone B generally includes the barrier islands, land areas north and south of the Jupiter Inlet, and other surge-vulnerable areas along the Intracoastal Waterway.
A voluntary evacuation order is being issued for Zone C which is only for residents who are unsure of the safety of their structure or if their structure is prone to excessive flooding (i.e., have experienced water inside their homes in previous storms).
Zone C generally includes properties from the Intracoastal waterway west to US Highway 1 in South County and Central County, and areas in close proximity to the Loxahatchee River and the northern tip of the Lake Worth Lagoon.
The expanded Zone E (Glades area only) evacuation zone includes the entire Lake Region including the communities of Lake Harbor, South Bay, Belle Glade, Pahokee and Canal Point. Bus service is being provided for these evacuees to shelters in other areas of the county. Pick-ups will begin at 10 a.m. Friday at Lake Shore Middle and Pahokee Middles schools. The last bus leaves at 5 p.m.
The entire Palm Beach County area around Lake Okeechobee, not just the area known as Zone E, is under an evacuation order. If using the DART application or our online tool and you enter your Glades area address it may indicate that you are
not in the evacuation zone. All of the Glades area communities are now in the evacuation zone.
Zone A has approximately 49,000 residents.
Zone B has approximately 74,000 residents.
Zone C has approximately 138,000 residents.
Expanded Zone E in the Glades has approximately 32,000 residents.
To determine if your home is in a storm surge evacuation zone, go to readyPBC.com or download our free app “PBC DART.” If you are not in an evacuation zone, please shelter in place. We do not want people stranded on the roadways without fuel.
· All court activities have been suspended until further notice.
· Palm Beach County government offices are closed through Monday.
· All county-operated Parks & Recreation facilities will close on Friday until further notice.
· Please visit www.pbcgov.com for the latest advisories and to review your checklists and emergency plans. At this time, you and your family should be completing all your preparations and deciding the safest location to be during the storm.
What Actions Should You Take at This Time?
· Determine if your home is in a storm surge evacuation zone by going to readyPBC.com or download our free app “PBC DART.”
· If you are in an evacuation zone or are voluntarily evacuating from the barrier islands or any other locations, we strongly recommend that you begin doing so at this time. Again, mandatory evacuation will become effective Friday at 10 a.m.
· Shelters will open at 10 a.m. Friday morning.
· Please evacuate if ordered. Remember, evacuate miles, not hundreds of miles. Please go to a friend’s, family member, or co-worker’s home here in Palm Beach County, a hotel, or when opened on Friday morning, one of our 15 county shelters.
· If you do not reside in an evacuation zone, please shelter in place.
· Put up shutters if you have them, no later than Friday evening.
· Have a working weather radio and battery backup to receive important warnings.
· Go through your disaster supply kit and review your family and/or business plan.
· Remember to also have a plan for pets.
· Make sure you have an adequate supply of your prescription medications.
· Please gather and protect important documents such as insurance policies, etc.
· Bring in loose objects from the patio and yard.
· Make sure that all other aspects of your home are as protected as possible.
For further preparation information, please visit: ReadyPBC.com, follow us on Twitter @PBCDEM, and watch PBC-TV Channel 20.
General population shelters will open in Palm Beach County at 10 a.m. Friday.
If you choose to go to a hurricane shelter, please bring the following with you:
• Bedding materials
• 2 changes of comfortable clothes
• Flashlight with extra batteries
• Cell phone and a battery-operated charger
• Snacks and any special diet foods
• If you prefer bottled water, please bring your own. Water will be provided on site, but not necessarily bottled.
• Games, books and playing cards for entertainment during your stay
• Space is limited, so please pack accordingly
If you would like to volunteer to help staff a shelter, please call the United Way Volunteer Hotline at 561-375-6621.
The pet-friendly shelter will open Friday morning at 10 a.m. at the West Boynton Recreation Center, 6000 Northtree Blvd., Lake Worth. The pet-friendly shelter is available to Palm Beach County residents residing in a mandatory evacuation zone or in mobile homes. Proof of residency is required. Space is limited and restrictions apply. Each pet must be accompanied by only one owner who will stay at the shelter. Other family members will need to stay at nearby Park Vista High School due to space restrictions. Livestock and reptiles will not be accepted. Pets will be housed in an area separate from people. Pet owners will be given a schedule to attend to their animal’s needs.
Special Needs Shelter
The Special Needs Shelter will open Friday morning. If you are registered, you will be notified. People with special medical needs should register for our Special Needs Program by calling (561) 712-6400 or visiting our website www.readypbc.org.
The county does not distribute sandbags. We urge you to check with your local hardware and home improvement stores if you are in search of sandbags.
On Friday, Palm Tran fixed-route bus service will operate on a modified Saturday schedule ending all service at 8 p.m. Palm Tran Connection will continue to be limited to essential trips ending at 8 p.m.
No transit and paratransit service is likely on Saturday and Sunday. Everyone is urged to continually check: www.palmtran.org and Palm Tran’s social media pages for the latest developments.
Airlines at Palm Beach International Airport will be providing their own individual schedules through their corporate public information.
The airport is currently on normal operations, monitoring weather information closely and making preparations for the hurricane.
The traveling public should contact their individual carrier for any flight information.
Also, a reminder that the airport is not an authorized shelter.
For continuing information on Hurricane Irma, and for more information on the Palm Beach County Division of Emergency Management and hurricane preparedness, please visit: www.pbcgov.com/dem, follow us on Twitter @PBCDEM and watch PBC-TV Channel 20.