In preparation for severe weather conditions, Osceola County officials will fully activate the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) Friday morning and open three shelters at noon, as well as a special needs shelter at 3 p.m.

Non-essential county and city offices will close at noon on Friday. Schools are already closed through Monday.

“There is still time for our residents to prepare themselves for Irma and to make arrangements to secure their homes or leave the area — if they feel that is the best solution for them,” said Commission Chairman Brandon Arrington. “Irma is a dangerous storm and there remains a level of unpredictability over its course, so everyone should prepare for the worst and hope that conditions steers it away from Florida. In the meantime, the public should continue to monitor official sources of information and make sure you have an emergency supply kit that will last 3 to 5 days.”

While the following shelters will open Friday, the public should remember that they should always be considered as a last resort if relatives or friends aren’t available. The county urges anyone living in low-lying areas or in mobile homes to consider evacuating.

Shelter tips:
· Shelters tend to lack many comforts such as bedding, pillows and entertainment for children — so bring your own
· Space can be limited: Give yourself enough time to get to a shelter
· Be prepared to live with strangers in close quarters for the duration of the storm
· Daycare is not provided – supervise your children

Things you will need: Clothing and bedding, personal items, medications, first-aid supplies, important papers, miscellaneous items like games, toys, battery powered radios, flashlights, batteries.

Pet-Friendly Shelters:
The following schools will be open as a pet-friendly shelter for dogs and cats only tomorrow at noon.

Harmony High School, 3601 Arthur J Gallagher Boulevard, St Cloud, FL 34771
Kissimmee Middle School, 2410 Dyer Boulevard, Kissimmee, FL 34741
Liberty High School, 4250 Pleasant Hill Road, Kissimmee, FL 34746

If you plan on evacuating to one of these shelters, please make sure to bring your own crates, leashes, bowls, food, etc. With the uncertainty surrounding this storm, we advise packing enough pet food to last one week.