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As Hurricane Ian approaches Florida, Polk County government is opening 13 emergency shelters at public schools — five of them in Lakeland — starting at noon on Tuesday. In addition, separate shelters will open for people with special needs and people with pets.
The five Lakeland locations are:
- Sleepy Hill Elementary School, 2285 Sleepy Hill Road
- R. Bruce Wagner Elementary School, 5500 Yates Road
- George Jenkins High School, 6000 Lakeland Highlands Road
- Highlands Grove Elementary, 4510 Lakeland Highlands Road
- Kathleen High School, 1100 Red Devil Way
The other Polk locations are:
- Horizons Elementary School, 1700 Forest Lake Drive, Davenport
- Chain Of Lakes Elementary School. 7001 Hwy 653, Winter Haven
- Mulberry Middle School, 500 SE Martin Luther King Jr Ave., Mulberry
- Spessard Holland Elementary, 2342 E.F. Griffin Road, Bartow
- Auburndale High School, 1 Bloodhound Trail, Auburndale
- Citrus Ridge Academy, 1775 Sand Mine Road, Davenport
- Lake Marion Creek Middle School, 3055 Lake Marion Creek Drive, Poinciana
- Winter Haven High School, 600 6th St. SE, Winter Haven
Those coming to shelters are asked to bring a seven-day survival kit since shelters will not have the comforts of home. No alcoholic beverages are allowed. Before going, check shelter policies here.
Special needs shelters are opening at 7 a.m. Tuesday under Polk County Emergency Management’s Special Needs Program, which “is designed to provide shelter and/or transportation for residents with medical or physical conditions and/or dependent on medical electrical equipment who require assistance during an emergency,” county spokeswoman Mianne Nelson said. Locations are:
- McKeel Academy, 1810 W. Parker St., Lakeland
- Florida Department of Health Specialty Care Unit, 1255 Brice Blvd., Bartow
- Ridge Community High School, 500 Orchid Drive, Davenport
Pet-friendly shelters open Tuesday at noon at
- Tenoroc High School, 4905 Saddle Creek Road, Lakeland
- Lake Region High School. 1995 Thunder Road, Eagle Lake
- Haines City High School. 2800 Hornet Drive, Haines City
Pet owners must bring shot records for their pets, an airline-approved carrying case or crate and pet food.
A Citizen’s Information Line has been activated by Polk County Emergency Services. It can be reached at (863) 401-2234 (locally) or toll-free 866-661-0228. The line will remain open during business hours throughout the storm.
More information from Polk County Emergency Management can be found on:
- The web: https://polk-county.net/emergency-management
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/polkcountyem
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/polkemergency
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