Florida's Emergency Shelter Program

Report Number



Disaster Planning; Schools; Photovoltaics


The Florida legislature has passed various laws and revisions addressing disaster preparedness which require the Department of Education, in partnership with school boards and county and state emergency management offices, to develop design standards for public shelters. These standards are to be incorporated into state requirements for educational facilities.The Florida SunSmart Schools Program provided funds to install photovoltaic (PV) systems on schools for the purpose of providing an educational experience for students, teachers and the surrounding community, and at the same time providing minimal solar electricity. Two and four kW grid-tied photovoltaic systems were used on 46 schools during the initial part of the Program. In 2008, the Program added funds to install utility interactive photovoltaic systems with battery backup on schools that are classified as shelters, adding a new dimension to the educational program. Photovoltaic arrays were increased to ten kW for schools used as emergency shelters. Following a disaster, the system can provide power to critical items; during normal school operations, the photovoltaic array powers computers and other classroom equipment in the school. Students learn not only about photovoltaics and other renewable technologies, but also about disaster preparedness and the importance of durable, energy efficient building design and construction.

Date Published


Local Subjects

Disaster Planning; Photovoltaics; Schools


FSEC Energy Research Center® Collection

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