Hurricane Irma Update #1
Friday - September 8 - 9:30 a.m.
All updates are in bold.
Santa Rosa County Emergency Management is closely monitoring Hurricane Irma, currently a dangerous Category 4 hurricane. While the storm track does not include our area, it is important to understand the projected storm path is still subject to change. Meanwhile, there are 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.
  • Stay updated. Tracks can change quickly. Tune into local media regularly. 
Host Sheltering
Christian Life Church located at 4401 Avalon Boulevard in Milton will open at noon today 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.

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
  • 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. 
Actions Taken by the State
  • Per Governor Scott's office, all tolls, including Garcon Point Bridge, have been suspended throughout Florida through the duration of the storm's impacts to the state.
  • The Santa Rosa County Department of Health will be closed on Friday, September 8 and is scheduled to reopen on Monday, September 11, weather permitting.
  • Per Governor Scott's orders, all Santa Rosa County schools as well as all state colleges, universities and state offices will be closed Friday, Sept. 8 through Monday, Sept. 11.
  • At this time, all courts within the First Judicial Circuit of Florida (Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton) will remain open Friday, September 8.
Volunteer Florida is coordinating with volunteer organizations across the state and has partnered with the American Red Cross to provide shelter operations training to volunteers and AmeriCorps grantees. Floridians who would like to volunteer can register at

General Information
  • More information is available in our latest all-hazards disaster guide online or at county offices and libraries, local chambers of commerce, and local retailers.
  • Your best defense in any disaster is a NOAA Weather radio.
  • Citizens may call (850) 983-INFO (4636) with questions.
  • Visit to find information on shelters, road closures and evacuation routes.
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