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Martin County 2007 Hurricane Guide

A look back at the Hurricanes of 2004 and a summary of emergency shelters and contact numbers for the division of emergency management and the Red Cross.

After 50 years of relative calm the Treasure Coast got battered by two hurricanes in 2004. On Sept 5, 2004 Hurricane Frances arrived with 105 mph winds. It was a giant storm almost 400 miles wide. Three weeks later, on Sept 25 hurricane Jeanne played a cruel joke on already battered residents of the Treasure Coast. The storm was headed east out into the Atlantic and made a big u turn.  Just 20 days after Frances knocked out power and caused havoc, Jeanne did major damage.

For many Treasure Coast residents this was their first experience with hurricanes. They learned many lessons, the most important being to be prepared to survive on your own. Residents in Port St Lucie, Jensen Beach, Stuart, Palm City and many surrounding areas got a lesson in the power of nature. And the officials or Martin County learned many lessons as well. With the completion of a new 2.5 million dollar Emergency Operations Center in Stuart, Martin County should be better prepared.

The 2007 Hurricane Forecast
There are many forecasters but the most consistent seems to be Joe Bastardi from AccuWeather.com. According to Joe, six or seven storms will strike the US coast. Most of the storms will be in the same area as usual – from mouth of the Mississippi River to Cape Hatteras, NC. The center of the target, as usual, is Florida. Our focus is on emergency shelters, who should go to a shelter, and when.

Martin County Emergency Shelters
Martin County has nine emergency shelters – all at public schools. Note that all shelters do not automatically open. Based on the conditions the officials determine what order they open and when and make announcements on local radio and TV.

Emergency Numbers for Martin County
Division of Emergency Management – 772-287-1652
American Red Cross – 772-287-2002

Palm City Shelters
Bessey Creek Elementary - 2201 SW Matheson Avenue
Hidden Oaks Middle School - 2801 SW Martin Highway (714)

Hobe Sound
Seawind Elementary - 3700 SE Seabranch Blvd

Port Salerno
Port Salerno Elementary - 3260 SE Lionel Terrace

Indian Town
Indian Town Middle School – 16303 SW Farms Road
Warfield Elementary – 15261 SW 150th Street

Jensen Beach
Jensen Beach High - 2875 Goldenrod Road
Jensen Beach Elementary – 2525 NE Savana Road
Felix Williams Elementary – 401 NW Baker Road

Make an Evacuation Plan
According to the Red Cross (and who knows better) if you must evacuate your home here is how you plan your evacuation for a Hurricane.

1. Stay with Friends
Your first option should be to stay with friends out of the area. If you have friends that live inland arrange to stay with them ahead of time.

2. Leave the Area
If you have no friends or relatives then consider leaving the area. Be sure to leave early enough that you don’t get stuck in traffic. Waiting until the last minute the day of the storm (or the day before) can put you at serious risk. Remember that emergency vehicles (fire department, sheriff, etc) will not be on the roads once the winds hit 40 mph.

3. Go to a Shelter
Going to a shelter should be your last option. Before you head for a shelter make sure the shelter is open, pack up supplies for yourself such as medicine, a flashlight, and anything you need to entertain yourself. Shelters will provide you a safe place to sleep and food, that’s it. If you have children consider bringing a few toys and books to keep them kids busy.

Martin County does not have any shelters that allow pets so make a plan for your pets. One option may be a pet boarding facility.