Risk Shelters:  When Highlands County will be impacted by high winds, the following shelters could be opened.  As these shelters approach capacity, they open a second tier of approved shelters (not listed). Please note that not all shelters on this list may be opened. Listen to NewsTalk 730AM, OJ 99.1, or 105.7 LITE FM for the latest shelter information.


Avon Park Recreation Center

207 East State Street



Lake Placid High School

202 Green Dragon Drive



Highlands County Fair Convention Center

781 Magnolia, Avenue



Bert J. Harris Agri-Civic Center

4509 George Blvd., Sebring


PET SHELTERS (Not County Maintained)

Just Like Home Pet Hotel (Pets Only)

3479 Davis Citrus Road

Avon Park, FL 33825

(863) 784-4066


Dawg House (Pets Only)

69 Dawg House Drive

Lake Placid, FL 33852

(863) 465-9674

*Many hotels may allow pets for an additional fee.  Please call ahead.

What to Expect in a Shelter
When disasters occur, general population shelters provide a safe place to stay. General shelters allow approximately 20 square feet per person. However, shelters will not be able to provide the same level of convenience as a family member’s home or a hotel. Oftentimes, shelters can be crowded, noisy, boring, and have very little privacy.

What to Bring to a Shelter

Do not bring anything that is not absolutely necessary for a 24 – 48 hour stay.
Food & Water – at least 1 gallon of water daily per person – any special food needed for dietary purposes – non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices / snacks – non-electric can opener Medication and written instructions regarding care and medication – at least a 3 to 5 day supply of all medications – list of all medications and their dosages Blankets / Pillows / Bedding, etc. Clothing – seasonal /rain gear/ sturdy shoes Toiletries – hygiene items / moisture wipes

– You may bring a cell phone with charger, games, cards, toys, battery powered radios, flashlights, batteries, or other reasonable items you may need.

Not Allowed
– Alcoholic beverages, tobacco or weapons.
– Smoking is not allowed in shelters.
– Pets (only service animals are allowed in shelters).



Sign in at the registration desk.  Information is confidential.  Please leave an address where you will go when you leave the shelter.  This will allow us to direct any family members or friends who are looking for you.

Control the actions of your children.  If you need help with activities to keep your children occupied, contact a shelter worker.

Tell shelter staff about any medical problems or conditions you have.

Volunteer to help with duties in the shelter.  There are many jobs that need to be done, and we can use your help.

Keep your valuables in a safe place.  We cannot assume responsibility for your belongings while in the shelter.



Do not smoke in the shelter.  Do not light candles, use lighters, or use matches in the shelter.

Do not bring pets into the shelter.  (only exception:  service animals)

Do not bring alcohol, illegal drugs, or firearms into the shelter.

Do not leave the shelter until the shelter staff announces it is safe to leave.  Do not open doors to the shelter while winds are blowing.