Published On: Sun, Sep 1st, 2019

Palm Beach County Braces for Dorian as it Grows to Category 5 Hurricane

By: Robert S Weinroth

The extremely dangerous Hurricane Dorian is now a Category 5 major hurricane with maximum sustained wind speeds of 175 miles-per-hour, according to a 9:30AM update from the National Hurricane Center.

The Bahamas is bracing for catastrophic damage, while parts of South Florida are bracing for possible hurricane force and tropical storm force winds up through Sebastian.

The eastern half of Palm Beach County is now under a Tropical Storm Warning due to the approach of Hurricane Dorian.

A Tropical Storm Warning means tropical storm winds are expected in the area within 36 hours.

Due to this, mandatory evacuations are being ordered for residential structures in Zone A and Zone B in Palm Beach County, effective at 1 P.M. Sunday, September 1, 2019. The Palm Beach County Emergency Information Center number is 561-712-6400.

Zone A includes mobile homes, sub-standard housing and low-lying areas prone to water intrusion.

Zone B generally includes the barrier islands, land areas north and south of the Jupiter Inlet, and other surge-vulnerable areas south along the Intracoastal Waterway to the Broward County line.

If you choose to not evacuate to a shelter, please evacuate miles not hundreds of miles.

Most of Palm Beach County is not being evacuated and residents should shelter within the county if possible. With the unpredictable nature of Hurricane Dorian, evacuating north is not recommended.

To determine if your home is in a storm surge evacuation zone, go to readyPBC.com or download our free app “PBC DART.” If you are not in an evacuation zone, please shelter in place.

At 1PM today (Sunday September 1) Palm Beach County will open seven general population shelters, as well as the special needs shelter at the South Florida Fairgrounds and the pet-friendly shelter at West Boynton Recreation

The Pet Friendly Shelter is located inside the West Boynton Recreational Center at 6000 Northtree Blvd., Lake Worth, FL 33463 and is only available to Palm Beach County residents who reside in a mandatory evacuation zone, in a mobile home, or in sub-standard housing. Proof of residency will be required.

All pets must be accompanied by only one owner who will stay inside the Pet Friendly Shelter. All other family members will need to stay at the adjacent human shelter, Park Vista High School. Pets will be housed in a separate area away from where people are sheltered; livestock and reptiles will not be accepted.

Space is limited and all food will be provided, so please limit personal belongings to only those essential items that you will need during your stay.

The seven general population shelters are:

Seven general population shelters will open at 1 p.m. Sunday.

The seven general population shelters are:

Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School, 1501 Avenue U, Riviera Beach;

Independence Middle School, 4001 Greenway Dr., Jupiter

Lakeshore Middle School, 425 W Canal St N, Belle Glade;

Pahokee Middle School, 850 Larrimore Rd, Pahokee;

Palm Beach Gardens High School, 4245 Holly Dr., Palm Beach Gardens;

Palm Beach Central High School, 8499 Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington; and

Park Vista High School, 7900 Jog Rd., Lake Worth.

What to bring to the Shelter

* Three-day supply of water per person (i.e., three-gallons per person)
* Prescription medicines and emergency medications; you must be able to take all medications by yourself
* Special-diet foods (e.g., snacks and juices for those with dietary restrictions or allergies)
* Basic snacks
* Bedding materials (e.g., pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, cots, air mattresses, etc.) – cots will not be provided
* Comfortable clothing (at least two changes)
* Collapsible/folding beach chair or camp chair
* Baby food, formula, bottles, diapers, blankets, & clothes
* Flashlight, extra batteries
* Cellphone, with a battery-operated charger
* Radio with extra batteries and headphones
* Important documents (e.g., identification, medical records, insurance information, deeds or leases, birth certificates and utility bills showing your home address) – these documents are not required but will be helpful after an emergency
* Photocopies of valuable documents
* Eyeglasses, hearing aids, dentures
* Toiletries and personal hygiene items (e.g., washcloth and/or towelettes, small towel, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, sanitary napkins, tampons, paper towels, toilet paper, etc.)
* Quiet games, books, playing cards, favorite toys, or other items for entertainment
* Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled
* Chargers/cables for any electronic devices you bring with you – functional electric outlets are limited in shelters

The special needs shelter is located at 9067 Southern Blvd., West Palm Beach. If you are registered, you should have received notification. People with special needs should register for the Special Needs Program by calling 561-712-6400 or clicking here.

Uber announced it will be offering free round trip rides, up to $20 each way, to and from a state-approved evacuation shelter.

To qualify for the free rides, users should open their app, tap ‘Payment’, scroll down to promotions, tap ‘add promo code’, and enter DORIANRELIEF then tap add. Once you do that, select one of the shelters.

About the Author

- Robert Weinroth is a 27 year resident of Boca Raton where he is an attorney, businessman, former member of the City Council (where he served for four years) and currently serves as an elected member of the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners. Commissioner Weinroth went to Boston’s Northeastern University where he earned a BSBA in Management. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor at New England School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and the Supreme Court of the United States. Weinroth served as president and general counsel of Freedom Medical Services Inc, an accredited medical supply company in Boca Raton. FREEDOMED® represented the realization of an entrepreneurial dream. Weinroth, and his wife Pamela operated the company for 16 years, eventually selling the business in 2016. Weinroth takes great pride in his past work as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for the 15th Judicial Circuit, advocating for the needs of abused and neglected children deemed dependent by the Court. After serving on multiple community boards and committees, Weinroth was elected to the Boca Raton City Council in 2014. During his tenure, he served as CRA Vice-chair and Deputy Mayor and was appointed to a number of county boards including the Boca Raton Airport Authority, the Palm Tran Service Board, the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency, the Treasure Coast Planning Council and was elected a board member of the Palm Beach County League of Cities. As a newly elected County Commissioner, Weinroth has been appointed Vice-Chair of the Solid Waste Authority, a board member of the PBC Transportation Planning Agency, and alternate representative on the Treasure Coast Planning Agency and several other county and regional boards. Robert, Pamela and their two dogs, Sierra and Siggy, are proud to call Boca Raton home.

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