Special Needs and Pets

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Special Needs Shelters

Palm Beach County has established a Special Needs Program to provide for citizens with certain medical problems during a major emergency. The Special Needs Shelter is a facility with physicians and nurses on staff.  It has auxiliary electrical power, is wind resistant, and not flood-prone. The shelter is not a medical facility and provides limited services. The shelter does not provide medication, dialysis, oxygen or oxygen concentrators.

Emergency Management is responsible for maintaining the client rosters, operational logistics, and coordination of the Special Needs Shelters. Space at these shelters is limited.  Prioritization is based on need.

Learn more about Special Needs Shelters.


Pets and Hurricanes

Every good hurricane plan should take family pets into account.

  • Make sure you have enough pet food on hand to cover the storm itself and potentially a few weeks after the storm passes.
  • If you plan to evacuate, make sure appropriate pet carriers are clean and ready for use. Have travel bags of needed supplies ready.
  • If plans involve a local shelter, you must contact a pet-friendly shelter and pre-register your pet.

Palm Beach County's Pet Friendly Shelter is located inside the West Boynton Recreational Center at 6000 Northtree Blvd., Lake Worth, FL 33463 and is only available to Palm Beach County residents who reside in a mandatory evacuation zone, in a mobile home, or in sub-standard housing. Proof of residency will be required.
All pets must be dropped off with shelter staff. As of 2020 owners will not be allowed to stay with the pet. All family members will need to stay at the adjacent human shelter, Park Vista High School. Pets will be housed in a separate area away from where people are sheltered; livestock and reptiles will not be accepted.

Space is limited and all food will be provided, so please limit personal belongings to only those essential items that you will need during your stay.

Pets are members of your family and will no doubt sense that things are different as a storm approaches. Take a moment to interact as normal with them, pet them or play with them. A few moments of activity will help them cope and give you a needed break.