|Hurricane evacuation shelters are provided for public use in the event a hurricane evacuation becomes necessary and if you have no other place to go. It is recommended that other arrangements be made with a friend or relative that lives in a well constructed home, out of the evacuation area, and properly protected to withstand hurricane force winds. You will probably be more comfortable, certainly in a less crowded environment and among friends. Remember, alcohol, weapons and pets are not permitted in public shelters.
Many churches will provide shelter for members and businesses should consider sheltering employees and families if possible.
Buildings used for evacuation shelters are normally public schools that are staffed by Red Cross volunteers and other community volunteers. Shelters are always crowded, usually uncomfortable when the power goes off because there is no ventilation, long lines to use restrooms and to get food, and very noisy making it difficult to rest or sleep. Keep in mind you may have to stay in the shelter for several days.
If you go to a public shelter, you will need to take the following items:
- change of clothing
- rain gear
- sturdy shoes
- toiletries and personal items
- blankets or sleeping bags
- important papers
- games or toys for children; books for adults
- special items for infants or elderly family members
- any special dietary needs and non-perishable foods for snacks
- battery operated radio, flashlights and plenty of spare batteries.
- prescription medications or any over-the-counter medications you normally take.