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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Hurricane Irma: Where to find water, shelters and other resources in the Orlando area

Posted By and on Thu, Sep 7, 2017 at 12:01 PM

click to enlarge Evacuation routes for Orange County (click to enlarge)
  • Evacuation routes for Orange County (click to enlarge)
With Hurricane Irma just days away from a potential impact with Florida, here's a list of resources to help you stay safe. As always, for the most up to date information, call 311.

We will be updating this post as more resources and services are announced.


These local establishments will fill your containers with water from their industrial filtration systems.

Ten 10 Brewing Company, 1010 Virginia Drive, Orlando, 407-930-8993.

Hourglass Brewing, 480 S. Ronald Reagan Blvd., Longwood, 407-262-0056.

Broken Cauldron, 1012 W. Church St., Orlando, 407-986-1012

Dandelion Communitea Cafe will also allow you to fill up jugs of water; 618 N Thornton Ave., Orlando, 407-362-1864.

7-Eleven stores around Orlando are also providing free bottled water while supplies last.


Planet Fitness — all locations
The fitness chain is offering use of locker rooms and showers for those in need. Call first to be sure the location is open.


Orange County shelters will begin opening at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9. As of Friday, the only mandatory evacuation order issued by the county was for mobile home residents. As of 8 p.m. Saturday, 2,289 people have checked in at Orange County shelters.

If you plan to stay at a shelter, bring an emergency supply kit, a pillow, blanket, toiletries, important papers, medications, snacks, water, flashlight and other essential personal items that will last you at least 72 hours. Pet owners who are going to evacuate to a facility must bring supplies for their animals, including food, medications, vaccination records and a carrier. The shelters for the general residential population include:

Apopka High School, 555 Martin St., Apopka, for the general population. Apopka High School is currently at capacity, so use Apopka Middle School.

Apopka Memorial Middle School, 425 N. Park Ave., Apopka, for the general population.

Colonial High School, 6100 Oleander Drive, Orlando, for the general population. Colonial High School is currently at capacity, so use Union Park Middle School.

Union Park Middle School, 1844 Westfall Drive, Orlando, for the general population.

Conway Middle School, 4600 Anderson Road, Orlando, for the general population.

East River High School, 654 Columbia School Road, Orlando, for the general population.

Edgewater High School, 3100 Edgewater Drive, Orlando, for the general population.

Memorial Middle School, 2220 29th St., Orlando, for the general population.

Odyssey Middle School, 9290 Lee Vista Blvd., Orlando, for the general population. Odyssey Middle School has reached capacity, so officials encourage residents to go to Conway Middle School.

West Orange High School, 1625 Beulah Road, Winter Garden, for the general population.

Barnett Park Community Center, 4801 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando, a pet-friendly shelter for the general population. As of Saturday night, Barnett Park is at 80 percent capacity.

Bithlo Community Center, 18501 Washington Ave., Orlando, a pet-friendly shelter for the general population.

Oak Ridge High School, 6000 Winegard Road, Orlando, a pet-friendly shelter for the general population.

Additionally, the Islamic Center of Orlando announced it is opening its doors at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9 for anyone seeking refuge from Irma. Make sure to bring your own bedding and supplies.

Orange County has also opened five host shelters for South Florida and coastal evacuees. Host shelters are specifically for evacuees traveling from other counties in Florida.People traveling to this shelter are asked to make sure their pets have crates, leashes, medication, food, water and proof of vaccination. The shelters include:  

Ocoee High School, 1925 Ocoee Crown Point Parkway, Ocoee.

Meadow Woods Middle School, 1800 Rhode Island Woods Circle, Orlando.

Gotha Middle School, 9155 Gotha Road, Windermere.

Hunter's Creek Middle School, 13400 Town Loop Blvd., Orlando.

Lakeview Middle School, 1200 W. Bay St, Winter Garden.

Orange County residents with special medical needs who require transportation assistance to a shelter can contact 311 or 407-836-3111 for help. You can find more information on Orange County's storm preparedness website, by downloading the OCFL app for Apple or Android, by following Orange County on Twitter, or by calling 311.

A list of Seminole County shelters and their availability status can be found here.

On Friday Sept. 8 at noon, Osceola County will open the following shelters:

Harmony High School, 3601 Arthur J. Gallagher Blvd., St Cloud, 407-933-9900, pet-friendly.

Kissimmee Middle School, 2410 Dyer Blvd, Kissimmee, 407-870-0857, pet-friendly.

Liberty High School, 4250 Pleasant Hill Road, Kissimmee, 407-933-3910, pet-friendly.  

Celebration High, 1809 Celebration Boulevard, Kissimmee, 321-939-6600.

Horizon Middle, 2020 Ham Brown Road, Kissimmee, 407-943-7240.

Narcoossee Middle School, 2700 N. Narcoossee Road, St. Cloud, 407-891-6600.

You can also check the county website for updates as locations are activated. You can also call the Osceola County Emergency Hotline 407-742-000 if you have any questions.


Orange County will have three designated special needs shelters; their locations will be announced when shelters open Saturday, at the earliest. Persons with special needs should first register with Orange County's Special Needs Program by calling 407-836-9319, or by visiting their website.

Airbnb will offer free housing from Sept. 7 - Sept. 28 in some Florida and Georgia counties. You can find or offer free places of shelter here.


All shelters will not be open at once, so be sure to call 311 to check on availability. Once a shelter opens, you will need to bring your pet in a carrier or cage, as as well as vet records, ID, collar, leash, as well as food and water bowls.

Barnett Park, 4801 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando, 407-836-6248

Bithlo Community Center, 18501 Washington Ave., Orlando, 407-254-1909

Oak Ridge High School, 6000 Winegard Road, Orlando, 407-852-3200


Sandbags are no longer being offered at this time.

click to enlarge CLICK TO ENLARGE
  • Click to enlarge


If possible, park in a roofed garage. Avoid parking where your vehicle is vulnerable to wind-blown debris or falling objects.

For insurance purposes, take pictures of your vehicle before the hurricane arrives. If your vehicle is damaged by the storm, this can reduce hassle when reporting your claim.

Be sure to fill up your tank within the next few days. The Gas Buddy Tracker can be used to find which gas stations near you still have fuel.

The City of Orlando is waiving parking fees at some city-owned parking garages from 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, through 8 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12 (dependent on weather and road conditions). Downtown garages where residents may park during Hurricane Irma include:

Central Boulevard Garage, 53 W. Central Blvd., Orlando.

Jefferson Street Garage, 62 W. Jefferson St., Orlando.

Orange County Administration Garage, 300 Liberty Ave., Orlando.

Library Garage, 112 E. Central Blvd., Orlando.

Centroplex 1, 441 Revere St., Orlando.

All cars should be removed by 8 a.m. Tuesday, unless weather conditions make it impossible.


Florida's Division of Emergency Management provides a map of recommended evacuation routes for Orange County residents. Check out the photo at the top of the post for Orange County's evacuation route.


LYNX is offering free transportation to any Orange County shelter. Call LYNX at 407-841-5969 for more information.

Comcast has made all of their Florida Xfinity wifi hotspots free to the public from now until Sept. 15.

U-Haul is providing free self-storage units in 96 facilities across 54 Florida cities. The units will house items for 30 days.

JetBlue has capped flights out of Florida to reduced fares between $99-$159. The airline will also be waiving cancellation and change fees.

For information on volunteer opportunities and to help with shelters, visit

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