Stay safe before, during, and after a storm
The United Way Hurricane Resource Center offers helpful information to create a preparedness plan, as well as what to do during and after a hurricane.
Did you know United Way is the official Indian River County partner for organizing volunteers and donations during a crisis?
United Way leads the Volunteer Reception Center, AKA the check-in point, for any spontaneous community member or group who wants to volunteer in post-disaster recover. Our team is also responsible for organizing, tracking, consolidating, and distributing all relief effort donations.
Hurricane Preparation 101
National Flood Insurance – (800) 427-4661
Remember the four steps: Gather. Record. Prepare. Protect.
- Gather important documents, such as insurance policies, birth certificates, deeds, and utility bills and store them in waterproof containers. Also gather any important mementos, such as family photos and keepsakes. Write down any important numbers in case you lose power.
- Record evidence of your home. Take photos of the inside and outside, including walls, floors, close-ups of appliances and other high-end items. Email photos to yourself for backup.
- Prepare your home if you have time. Secure outdoor objects or move them inside, protect windows and use sandbags in doorways.
- Protect yourself. This is the most important step. Keep cash, your photo ID and any medications with you. Follow evacuation orders — they are made to keep you safe. If you choose to stay, remember to store enough food, water and pet supplies with you. Store extra batteries, a battery-operated radio and gasoline.
EMERGENCY: Law Enforcement/Fire/Ambulance: DIAL 9-1-1
Emergency Services Public Information Line: (Activated during disasters) (772) 226-3927
Poison Control: (800) 222-1222
Indian River County Department of Emergency Services: (772) 226-3900
City of Vero Beach: (772) 978-5151
City of Fellsmere: (772) 571-1616
City of Sebastian: (772) 581-0111
Florida Division of Emergency Management: (850) 815-4000
Department of Financial Services Claim Hotline: (877) 693-5236
Indian River County Utilities: (772) 770-5300
Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital: (772) 567-4311
Sebastian River Medical Center: (772) 589-3186
**Special Needs Shelter**
- Treasure Coast Elementary School: 8955 85th Street, Sebastian, FL 32958
- *Pre-registration required: (772) 226-3900
- Click here for more information
- Liberty Magnet School: 6850 81st Street, Vero Beach, FL 32967 – (772) 388-3331, ext. 10
*Reminder* Shelters do not open at the same time, and some may not open at all. Stay tuned to media reports for current information.
South County Shelters:
- Indian River Academy: 500 20th Street SW, Vero Beach, FL 32962
- Oslo Middle School: 480 20th Avenue SW, Vero Beach, FL 32962
- Osceola Magnet School: 1110 18th Avenue SW, Vero Beach, FL 32962
Central County Shelters
- Gifford Middle School: 4530 28th Court, Gifford, FL 32960
- Glendale Elementary School: 4940 8th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960
- Vero Beach High School Freshman Learning Center: 1507 19th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960
- Vero Beach Elementary School: 1770 12th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960
North County Shelters
- Fellsmere Elementary School: 50 North Cypress Street, Fellsmere, FL 32948
- Pelican Island Elementary School: 1355 Schumann Drive, Sebastian, FL 32958
- Sebastian Elementary School: 400 County Road 512, Sebastian, FL 32958
- Sebastian River Middle School: 9400 County Road 512, Sebastian, FL 32958
- Sebastian River High School: 9001 90th Avenue, Sebastian, FL 32958
- Storm Grove Middle School: 6400 57th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32967
American Red Cross: (772) 562-2549
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): (800) 621-3362
Florida Department of Elder Affairs: (800) 963-5337
Florida Division of Insurance Fraud: (850) 413-3115
Florida Department of Financial Services: (877) 693-5236
Florida Division of Emergency Management: (850) 413-9969
Florida Division of Emergency Declared Disaster: (800) 342-3557
INTERNAL: Preparation and training are key to executing your internal emergency communications plan. Your management and human resources teams should work together to ensure that employees have access to the following items so that when a hurricane approaches, your staff can focus on other efforts.
- Up-to-date employee emergency contact list
- Call tree and instructions – a structured way for you to account for every employee after a hurricane
- Links on your organization’s intranet to your employee contact lists, emergency preparedness and recovery responsibilities, etc.
EXTERNAL: When a hurricane threatens our area, if you have standard mass communications in place that you can share with your clients, not only will your last-minute preparations be easier to manage, but your clients will also appreciate your taking the time to inform them of your intentions. Consider the following:
- Mass email to clients
- Temporary banner or headline on your website’s home page
- Temporary phone greeting
- Informational signage at your office or business entry points (particularly important if you receive regular deliveries or have walk-in clients)
If you or a loved one is having a difficult time coping with recent disasters emotionally or mentally, the Disaster Distress Hotline is available 24/7 and in many languages.
- Individuals can call the helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
- Si habla español, puede acceder a la línea de ayuda llamando al mismo número o enviando un mensaje de texto con Hablanos al 66746. Esta línea de ayuda cuenta con consejeros de crisis capacitados.
Florida Emergency Information Line: (800) 342-3557
- Download the FREE Indian River County Aware & Prepare App on your phone to receive weather alerts and other community safety information notifications.
- Tune in to WSCF 91.9FM
- Tropical Depression: Winds up to 39 mph
- Tropical Storm: 39 to 73 mph winds
- Category I: 74 to 95 mph winds
- Category II: 96 to 110 mph winds
- Category III: 111 to 130 mph winds
- Category IV: 131 to 155 mph winds
- Category V: Winds 156 mph or greater
know the hazards
Wind – A hurricane is a tropical storm with constant winds greater than 73 miles per hour. Hurricanes can also spawn tornadoes, which add to their potential for destruction.
Rain – Because of the tropical nature of hurricanes, they contain rain which can, at time, be torrential and cause floods and flash floods.
know the lingo
Hurricane Watch – Hurricane conditions are possible within 48 hours. Your preparations should be underway.
Hurricane Warning – Hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours. Your preparations should be rushed to completion.
Storm Surge – An abnormal rise of water generated by a storm. Nine out of 10 hurricane fatalities are attributable to storm surges often causing extreme flooding in coastal areas.
Storm Surge Watch – The possibility of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline somewhere within a specified area, generally within 48 hours.
Storm Surge Warning – The possibility of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline somewhere within a specified area, generally within 36 hours.
information will update continually when a named storm has a chance of impact. please check back frequently.
Although every effort has been made to provide complete and accurate information, United Way of Indian River County makes no guarantees, expressed or implied for any error or omissions of the resources contained on the Hurricane Resource Center web pages.
If you are experiencing an urgent mental or medical emergency, please call 9-1-1.