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The shelter information listed below is for direction information. During a storm event, please check to see which shelters are open. Shelters can change. Please check with WZEP’s Hurricane page and On-Air to see the current list of shelters open. Again, just because a shelter is listed, it does not mean it is open and due to changes this list might not be complete. 

Note: The Clyde Wells Bridge will close when sustained winds reach 40 miles per hour. Bridges in surrounding counties will likely be closed at the same time, possibly preventing evacuation from south Walton and parts of south Okaloosa and Bay County.

Remember animals are not allowed in shelters (with the exception of special needs service animals). Please contact authorities to see if animals shelters are open. Generally the Walton County Fair grounds are used as animal shelters. Local authorities can also offer an animal check service, checking on your pet at home as soon as it becomes safe.


Walton Sheriff EOC

Emergencies 911   

 Walton County Sheriff’s Office 892-8186 

South Walton Sub Station 267-2000    

Walton County Emergency Operations Center 892-8065

Any shelter openings and what kind of shelter with services provided will be announced by Emergency Services and listed on the Hurricane Page and On-Air. This page is for general directions to possible facilities only, not necessarily a list of shelters open. 

Here are facilities approved for use as shelters by the Walton County Emergency Management and could be opened if needed. These are pre-approved for use as shelters and include the type of shelter. They could be opened under the direction of Emergency Management. 

Listen On-Air or look for the openings list on the Hurricane Page.

NOTICE: This list is not a list of open shelters. Only a list of possible shelters. Please check the hurricane page, listen on-air or call your local emergency management for exact shelter openenings.

Freeport High School – Highway 331, about 3 miles north of Highway 20 on the east side.

Walton Middle School Building 900 – From U.S. 331, in DeFuniak Springs, turn east onto Bruce Avenue. The School is north of Bruce before you get to 2nd Street.

OWC Chautauqua Center Building 2 – Highway 90 west in DeFuniak Springs. This facility is west of the Highway 90 and 331 south intersection.

Walton High School-Take U.S.331 North to U.S. 90. Turn right, go 4 blocks and turn left (north) on State Road 83, first traffic light. Go approximately 2 miles and turn Left on Walton Road. School is 1/2 mile on the left.

Mossy Head School – Take Highway 90 west from DeFuniak Springs or I-10 west to the 285 exit 70. The school is on the north side of Highway 90 near the Blackstone Golf course.

Below is a list of other facilitates which could be called into use as a staging area, relief area or some other use by Emergency Management. These facilities are not pre-approved as shelters. Please refer to the Hurricane Page and On-Air for information on how and if one of these facilities is used. Other facilities may be added to the list.

Paxton High School Paxton is located 38 miles north of the beaches. The school is located on 331 on the left side heading north.

South Walton High School – Located just south of the Clyde Wells Bridge in the Walton County Government/Education Complex. The school is located on the west side of U.S. 331 north of U.S. 98.

Maude Saunders Elementary School– Follow directions to Walton High School and turn right, north, onto John Baldwin Road. The school is about 1/4 mile down on the right.

DeFuniak Springs Civic (Community) Center- Take U.S.331 North to U.S.90. Turn Right, go 4 blocks and turn left (north) on State Road 83 (first traffic light) turn left. Go approx. 3/4 of a mile.  Center is on left behind the ball field before the half round Old Armory building.

Freeport Community Center- Take U.S. 331 North to Highway 20, turn left (west) at light and go to the next traffic light.  Take U.S. 331 north to the community center about 500 feet north of the Highway 20/US 331 light on the west side of the road.

Evacuation Routes In Walton County as Suggested by Walton Emergency Management

Please listen On-Air and check out the Hurricane Page for up to date information from Emergency Management

A major evacuation route is U.S. 331 from U.S. 98 in south Walton north to Alabama. Please note, when you are heading north on 331 you will turn left at Highway 90 and rejoin 331 heading north on the west end of DeFuniak Springs near the airport. 

Take U.S. 331 north across the Clyde Wells Bridge to Freeport and at State Highway 20 go east. Join State Highway 81 at the Bruce Community. Highway 81 is available as a northern route to I-10, joining I-10 at Ponce de Leon. 

Take U.S. 331 north to U.S. Highway 90 in DeFuniak Springs, turn right (east) and go to the next traffic signal. Highway 83 (9th Street in DeFuniak Springs) is available as a northern route to Alabama.

Most likely there will be traffic message boards or law enforcement directing evacuation traffic at intersections like Highway 20 and 331 in Freeport. 

Holmes County Emergency Management Information

Emergencies call 911

Holmes Emergency Management 547-1112

Holmes County Sheriff’s Department 547-3681



Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Dept. (North) 689-5650 

(South) 651-7272 

Emergency Management 651-7150

These are facilities which could be used as shelters, staging areas, relief areas or other needs as determined by Emergency Management. Please refer to the Hurricane Page and On-Air for a list of facilities in use during an emergency and explanations of how they are being used. This list if for general direction information only. These facilities are not necessarily pre-approved shelters.

Addie Lewis Middle School-On Mississippi Ave in Valparaiso. Cross street is John Sims Parkway. Just outside Eglin East Gate.

Baker School-Hwy 4 in Baker-look for signs on right side of road when you get into Baker. If you miss the sign, turn right at the caution light in Baker then right again.

Bruner Middle School– On Holmes Blvd. in Ft Walton Beach. Drive west on Hwy. 98 turn North on Memorial Parkway.  Then turn right on Holmes Blvd.

Choctawhatchee High School (Special Needs Shelter)-On the north side of Racetrack Road in Ft Walton Beach.

Crestview High School (Special Medical Needs Shelter)– On Ferdon Blvd.-Hwy 85- Just North of Crestview.

First Baptist Church of Valparaiso-On Hwy 190, access from Hwy. 85 or John Sims Parkway (State Road 20).

Laurel Hill School– Hwy 85 North of Crestview. Watch for signs when you get into Laurel Hill.

Niceville High School– On John Sims Parkway in Niceville.

Persons evacuating should be aware that: 

·        Animals are not accepted at the shelters.

·        People with special needs should bring a three day supply all their medicines, water and food, including special foods. They should also bring a list of their medical conditions and contact names and numbers for doctors, home health agency serving them, and an emergency contact.

Remember the shelter is not a hospital or a clinic and should be used by those with medical conditions that have no other evacuation options.  There will be no doctor, acute care nurses, specialty care nurses or caretakers at the shelter. Those who need assistance with activities of daily living must bring a caregiver as necessary for 24 hour care, because there will not be staff available to meet those needs.

Those reporting to the shelter should bring the following items:

  • ID
  • Sleeping bag or bedding
  • Special dietary items
  • Flashlight, change of clothing, rain gear
  • Infant needs, toys for children
  • Personal snacks
  • A good book

Alcohol is not allowed in the shelters.

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