Florida Cabinet approves 2012 statewide emergency shelter plan

May 8, 2012


The following news release was issued today, May 8, 2012 by the Florida Division of Emergency Management:

Cabinet approves 2012 statewide emergency shelter plan


MARATHON – Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet approved the 2012 Statewide Emergency Shelter Plan (SESP) this morning at Stanley Switlik Elementary School in Marathon, Florida.

Presented by the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM), the 2012 SESP takes into account a combination of hurricane shelter surveys, retrofitted public facilities, existing schools and the use of enhanced hurricane-resistant construction for new schools and public facilities to create an estimated 939,395 spaces throughout the state.

“Florida has made significant strides in reducing its deficit of safe public hurricane shelter space over the past 12 years and the 2012 SESP is evidence of the state’s progress,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “We appreciate the support of Governor Scott and the Cabinet to ensure Florida’s residents and visitors enter this year’s hurricane season as prepared as possible.”

The 2012 Statewide Emergency Shelter Plan provides a guide for local and regional planning of new public school, community college and university facilities that must meet Public Shelter Design Criteria. It quantifies the location (i.e., region and county) and square footage of needed general population and special needs public hurricane evacuation shelter space required over a five year period. Approximately 51 percent of the spaces were created through new public schools being designed and constructed to meet the Department of Education’s Public Shelter
Design Criteria.

As Florida’s population continues to grow, the number of families who reside in areas vulnerable to the effects of major hurricanes will continue to grow. With both general population and special needs shelters combined, Florida
now demonstrates an aggregate surplus of shelter spaces statewide. FDEM and its partners will continue to work
together as the needs of Florida’s population changes to ensure adequate and safe shelter space.

The 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins Friday, June 1. Make sure you are prepared to follow the instructions of
local officials if a hurricane threatens your community by knowing the nearest shelter, making an evacuation plan and having a disaster supply kit.