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Hurricane Preparedness PlanHurricane Preparedness

Hurricane season runs June 1 through Nov. 30, with September considered the peak of storm season. It is critical to have an emergency kit and a plan in place well before tropical weather is headed our way. 

In the event of a severe weather threat or emergency, look for updates regarding hospital services on, social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), in local news and via other communications channels.

Is SMH a Community Shelter?

Sarasota Memorial Hospital is activated as a designated medical shelter during critical emergency situations, including hurricanes. It is NOT a community shelter/public evacuation center

Sarasota Memorial is an acute-care hospital, providing lifesaving medical care to patients. As such, its resources are committed to those who need them most.

The hospital is not equipped to act as a community shelter during a disaster. To ensure adequate facilities, staffing and supplies for emergencies, SMH shelters only its inpatients, essential staff and Sarasota County residents with qualifying medical needs who have registered in the county’s Medical Needs Program and have been assigned to Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

Medically Dependent Residents

If you will require hospital-level medical assistance during severe weather, it is imperative that you pre-register with Sarasota County’s Medical Needs Program before a hurricane or tropical storm threatens our area: Call 941-861-5000 or click here

The county will assign residents who have registered as being medically dependent to an appropriate shelter equipped to care for their special needs. When a storm threatens Sarasota, the county will contact those who pre-registered to arrange transport* to their assigned shelter. Family members and others will be directed to a community shelter, if needed.

Those assigned to Sarasota Memorial Hospital as a medical shelter should bring their own bedding, prescription medications (at least a two-week supply), entertainment (books, personal electronics with chargers, magazines, etc.) and any special-diet foods, if required. Sarasota Memorial will provide sheltered residents assigned to Sarasota Memorial with sleeping accommodations (a hospital bed, cot, stretcher or recliner) and food; the hospital cannot accommodate special dietary needs for shelterees.  

*Note that the county also offers last-resort transportation to shelters for non-medically dependent residents. Click here for info.

SMH Employees

In the event of a hurricane, Sarasota Memorial employees should call the Employee Hotline, 941-917-8799, or visit for updates.