Palm Beach County has declared a State of Emergency effective 12:00 A.M. September 6. The State EOC is at a level 1 activation. The Palm Beach County EOC escalated to Level 3 on Monday and anticipates going to a Level 2, partial activation, on Thursday morning.
All residents should actively monitor Hurricane Irma throughout the week and consider the timing for implementing any protective actions. Residents should have food and water to last 5-7 days and prescriptions should be filled as soon as possible.
Decisions are being made at this time on evacuations and shelters. Announcements will be made once the track and timing becomes clearer.
The Palm Beach County District has decided to close schools on Thursday and Friday. Some of those schools will be used a shelters operated by the county.
If shelters are opened, they will include the Special Needs Shelter. You must be preregistered for the Special Needs Shelter. If you have extraordinary medical circumstances you may register by going online to www.pbcgov.com or by contacting 712-6400. Call wait times may be long and if you are able to register online, you should.
Evacuations are dependent on storm surge, not wind speeds and will be determined based on the dangers to the coast and to areas around Lake Okeechobee. Residents living in areas away from the coast and lake do not need to evacuate.
Due to the uncertainty in the direction in which the storm will approach, the decision to evacuate the coastal areas will be made sometime over the next two days after consultations between emergency managers and the National Hurricane Center.
Stay tuned for coverage of the event here, on Twitter with the hashtag #HurricaneIrma as well as #IrmaSucks, and by following local media. We are also busily putting together our hurricane guide, which will be emailed to our newsletter subscribers.