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Emergency Management

Posted on: September 5, 2017


MONROE COUNTY, FL -- With the storm track of Category 5 Hurricane Irma still headed for the Florida Keys, Monroe County will be issuing mandatory evacuations for tourists and residents. The exact times will be determined later today.

However, tourists and residents are encouraged to start evacuation plans now and the earlier people leave the Keys the less traffic they are likely to encounter.

“My wife is leaving the Keys today,” said Monroe County Emergency Management Director Martin Senterfitt. “She would rather go to the dentist than sit in traffic. The sooner people leave the better. If ever there was a storm to take serious in the Keys, this is it.”

Now is a good time for tourists and residents to fill their tanks with fuel and complete their evacuation plans. There will be no shelters in Monroe County. Out-of-county shelters are not open yet. Information about their location and when they will open is in the works.

Monroe County is closing all of its government offices and County parks on Wednesday, Sept. 6. Essential County employees, emergency management and Fire Rescue personnel will be at work. The Monroe County Emergency Operation Center is opening at noon today.

The Monroe County School District said at the 9 a.m. Monroe County emergency management briefing that all schools will be closed Wednesday. Monroe County’s three hospitals – the Lower Keys Medical Center in Key West, Fishermen’s Hospital in Marathon and Mariners Hospital in Tavernier – have begun plans to evacuate their patients. Monroe County’s Health Department also is closing Wednesday.

Today is the last day to sign up for the Monroe County Special Needs Registry. For more information or to register online, go to: or call 305-292-4591.

People with special needs may bring their pets. Pets also must be registered. If it is necessary to evacuate to the out-of-county special needs shelter at Florida International University in Miami, pets will be taken to a separate shelter with a 24/7 caretaker.

People who are medically managed, including those on oxygen, feeding tubes or equipment that needs constant electricity, can also register on the special needs registry for transportation by ambulance to nursing homes out of the county.

More information to come


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