Posted On: September 1, 2019
As Hurricane Dorian pummels the Bahamas, Central Floridians are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. The Category 5 storm is increasing in size and strength and is forecast to pass perilously close to Volusia County’s coastline. It’s expected that Volusia County will be placed under a Hurricane Watch later today.
Volusia County residents can expect sustained tropical storm force winds by midday Tuesday, with strong gusts well before that.
Residents are encouraged to be in place where they’re going to ride out the storm by Monday night.
MANDATORY EVACUATION ORDER
Volusia County officials will issue a mandatory evacuation order at 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 2, for residents who live on the beachside and in low-lying areas, RVs and mobile homes. However, residents don’t have to wait until the order is issued. If you have a place to go, it would be best to leave the area today.
When the sustained wind speed reaches 39 mph, all bridges crossing the Halifax River will be closed. They will reopen after the Florida Department of Transportation inspects them and determines they are structurally safe.
Municipalities are responsible for managing re-entry to the beachside. Residents should reach out to their city with questions regarding identification needed for re-entry.
Public shelters will open at 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 2. Please do not go to a shelter before it opens.
General shelters are available for people who have been evacuated or feel unsafe in their homes.
Special needs shelters assist evacuees with disabilities or functional medical needs. They are pet friendly. Evacuees and their service animals will remain in the same location. It is too late to pre-register for a special needs shelter. Residents who are not registered will be assessed upon arrival at the shelters.
Pet friendly shelters provide housing for people and pets in separate locations at the shelter.
The people and pet shelter houses people and pets in the same location:
The Daytona Beach International Airport is not a shelter.
If you plan to stay at a public shelter, make your final preparations today so you can get to a shelter Monday morning. Make sure you have supplies for yourself, your family and pets.
If you evacuate to a shelter, keep in mind that you will not be staying in a hotel. You will not have a private room or bedding.
WHAT TO BRING TO A SHELTER
Evacuees may need to stay at the shelter for 24 to 72 hours. Since space is limited, bring essential items only. Avoid bringing valuables; shelters are not responsible for lost or stolen items.
Items you should bring to a shelter include:
Votran, Volusia County’s transportation system, will operate on a regular schedule Monday. The fleet of buses will assist with evacuations related to Hurricane Dorian.
“Votran will be fully prepared at all times possible to properly handle transportation needs to and from designated shelters,” said Votran Director Rob Stephens. “We have been working with local nonprofits that serve the homeless community to make sure they are aware of the transportation and shelter services.”
Four buses will transport homeless and transient people to the public shelter at the Volusia County Fairgrounds at 1 and 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 2. Pick-up points will be at 340 North St., Daytona Beach; 310 Douglas St., New Smyrna Beach; 201 N. Myrtle Ave., New Smyrna Beach; and 122 W. Euclid Ave., DeLand.
The general population can use any bus stop to obtain a ride to a shelter.
Riders should bring only what they need at the shelters. Those who are traveling to pet-friendly shelters may bring their pets in carriers or on leashes. Carts will not be allowed on the buses.
If you are unable to go to a bus stop because of a disability, call Votran to schedule a paratransit ride. The phone numbers are:
Votran will waive fees for all riders from Monday morning until the shelters are closed.
EOC AND CITIZENS INFORMATION CENTER
Volusia County’s Emergency Operations Center will be fully activated at 7 a.m. Monday.
The Citizens Information Center will be open until 7 p.m. today. It will reopen at 7 a.m. Monday and will remain open 24 hours a day until further notice. Residents can call 866-345-0345.