Taking appropriate shelter is critical in times of disaster. “Shelter-in-place” is appropriate when conditions require that you seek protection in your home, place of employment or other location when disaster strikes. Taking refuge outside the hazard area could include staying with friends and relatives, seeking commercial lodging or staying in a shelter or evacuation center operated by disaster relief groups.
Evacuation Centers/Emergency Shelters provide a safe location for those who are directed to, or choose to, evacuate their homes due to some severe hazard. These facilities provide life-sustaining services during and following a disaster.
Emergency Shelters are for people who have evacuated zones due to a significant weather event (hurricane, coastal storm) with the potential of damaging structures from storm surge. Shelters often provide items such as water, cots, blankets and pillows, shower facilities, meals, medical services, and basic sanitary facilities. You should however plan to take your emergency supply kit with you so you will have the supplies specific to your individual needs. Once the weather has passed, residents may be unable to return to their homes because of storm damage.
Sheltering, can involve living with many people in a confined space, which can be difficult and unpleasant. Be prepared to take cleaning items with you like cloth masks (for anyone ages 2 and above), soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes or general household cleaning supplies to disinfect surfaces.
Evacuation Centers typically are only meant to house people for 12-72 hours or until the hazard (i.e.; wildfire, hazmat release, etc.) no longer is present and it is safe to return home. Because these centers must open quickly, it may not be possible to provide a cot and blanket for each person and it may not be practical to move in supplies for such a short-term incident. In many cases, Evacuation Centers may be in a Primary or High School gym or auditorium setting that is secure; and in an area that is not impacted by the hazard.
To view Shelters/Evacuation Centers locations use the mapping tool displayed above. Key point, during emergency conditions only open facilities will be presented on the map along with directions from your entered location.
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