County implements transportation plan for hurricane season
Sarasota County has a transportation plan in place to assist residents with getting to a hurricane evacuation center (formerly known as hurricane shelters) if they do not have a means of transportation or cannot drive themselves.
The plan will provide Sarasota County residents and their pets with transportation to a general population hurricane evacuation center. At this time, the 11 approved evacuation centers in the county are located in North Port and Sarasota ONLY. All are pet-friendly.
The county's transportation program is only activated when an emergency has been declared in Sarasota County and evacuation centers are open. Transportation will be offered at designated "rally points" throughout the county, although rally points may change depending on the severity of a storm.
To utilize the program, residents must complete a registration form. Residents who pre-register will receive an automated telephone message with information about the location of rally points and pick-up times. The transportation plan is part of Sarasota County's ongoing efforts to improve services following the completion of the Hurricane Irma After Action Report, which was led by former Federal Emergency Management Administrator Craig Fugate.
In Venice, the rally points are:
- Venice Community Center, 326 Nokomis Ave. S.
- Garden Elementary School, 700 Center Road
- Taylor Ranch Elementary, 2500 Taylor Ranch Trail (off U.S. 41)
"We take the safety of our citizens very seriously and believe implementing the transportation plan is a way to ensure residents that do not have a reliable and safe method of transportation can get to the evacuation center if needed," said Rich Collins, Emergency Services Director.
To register, or for more information about the transportation plan, including maps of rally points, visit Sarasota County's website by clicking here or call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000. More information on the county's evacuation centers (hurricane shelters), including a full list, can be found by clicking here.