Important Information for Escambia, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa Counties

September 8, 2017

All public K-12 schools, state colleges, state universities and state offices to close Friday, September 8 – Monday, September 11.

Escambia County

There ARE NO evacuations ordered for Escambia County residents, no matter the location.

Host Shelters

  • Pensacola bay Center located as 201 E. Gregory St. starting at 5 p.m.
  • The shelter is for south Florida evacuees. There are currently NO EVACUATIONS ordered for Escambia County.
  • Evacuees with pets and special needs will be accommodated at the Bay Center.
  • Parking is on the Alcaniz Street side.
  • Additional Shelters will be opened as needed and directed by the state of Florida.
  • The Escambia County Equestrian Center is being open as a host shelter for evacuees’ horses. Stalls and RV sites are available at a nominal cost on a first come, first served basis. For more information, visit
  • Visit to find information on shelters, road closures and evacuation routes.


  • The Escambia County area hotels are at 92-98 percent capacity through the weekend. Currently the interstate accommodations are the most occupied, with opening on Pensacola Beach.
  • Visit Pensacola has information available at
  • Through Visit Florida’s partnership with Expedia, has been activated to provide accommodations availability information for visitors, residents and first responders.

Visit Florida’s Welcome Centers have transitioned to emergency information centers to help direct evacuees with the most up to date information

Pensacola International Airport

  • While many southern and eastern Florida airports are closed, Pensacola International Airport is currently open and will remain open as long as Hurricane Irma does not severely impact our area.
  • Passengers with scheduled travel to impacted areas are strongly encouraged to monitor the status of their flight by frequently visiting their airline’s website.

Okaloosa County


Riverside Elementary School and Shoal River Middle School on Redstone Avenue in Crestview. The Shoal River Middle School will open at 4:00pm for evacuees from the Florida Peninsula only, as tropical conditions are not currently expected in Okaloosa County. The Riverside Elementary School shelter will open when the Shoal River Middle School shelter reaches 75% capacity.

Okaloosa County Airports

All Okaloosa County Airports are open and will remain open unless conditions in the county
change. The airports are Destin-Ft. Walton Beach Airport, Bob Sikes Airport, and Destin Executive Airport

Santa Rosa County

Actions Taken in Santa Rosa County

  • Santa Rosa County has made limited supplies of sand available at no cost at several locations. Sand bags supplies were depleted but more are on order at local home improvement stores (Hall’s Hardware in Milton, Lowe’s in Midway and Pace). Filled sand bags are still available at all three locations. Bring shovels to fill and load your own bags.
    • Leisure Street at Citrus Drive in Holley By the Sea
    • Tiger Point Park in Gulf Breeze
    • Pace Fire-Rescue in Pace
    • The corner of Pine Forest Road and Carroll Road in Milton

Host Shelters

  • Christian Life Church located at 4401 Avalon Boulevard in Milton will open at noon Friday, Sept. 8 as a general population host shelter for evacuees from Central/South Florida. It is not a pet friendly or special needs shelter. A second shelter is on standby should this shelter reach capacity
  • The June Ates Arena at Santa Rosa County Fairgrounds, 8604 Bobby Brown Road in Milton, will begin accepting horses at 8 a.m. Saturday on a first-come, first-serve basis for evacuees from Central/South Florida. Stalls are limited. Bring your own feed/hay or some will available for purchase. Call 850-390-3227 or 850-623-1115 for more information.

Several easy steps residents can take now to make preparations and reduce stress.

  • Review, update or make a disaster plan.
    • Check If you live in a mobile home, or an evacuation zone, know where you will go and how you will get there. Shelters are a last-resort option. You will be much more comfortable with family, friends or a hotel. And don’t go far – think in terms of tens of miles, not hundreds.
    • Have pets? Download our pet-friendly shelter application and return to Animal Services.
    • Special needs? Register online here.
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