Flowood, Miss., September 4, 2018 – The American Red Cross Mississippi Region will open evacuation centers in advance of Tropical Storm Gordon. Evacuation centers/shelters provide a safe place to stay for those who have been ordered to evacuate their homes prior to a storm. They typically are only meant to house people for 12-72 hours until the storm moves through. Because these centers/shelters 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.
People can check in at one of the following Red Cross managed sites:
- Kiln 361, 18320 Highway 43, Kiln, MS 39556 (10 a.m. open)
- Central Jackson County Community Saferoom, 5500 Ballpark Road, Vancleave, MS 39565 (noon open)
- County Farm 361, 15035 County Farm Road, Gulfport, MS 39503 (4 p.m. open)
- Forrest County 361, 946 Sullivan Road, Hattiesburg, MS 39401 (4 p.m. open)
- Agricola Community Shelter, 3161 Cooks Corner Road, Lucedale, MS 39452 (2 p.m. open)
- Benndale Community Shelter, 5207 Highway 26 West, Lucedale, MS 39452 (2 p.m. open)
WHAT TO BRING TO A SHELTER
Anyone evacuating to a Red Cross shelter should bring essential items for each member of the family:
▪ Prescriptions and emergency medications
▪ Foods that meet unusual dietary requirements
▪ Identification to show residence is in affected area and important personal documents
▪ Extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and other comfort items
▪ Supplies needed for children and infants, such as diapers, formula and toys
▪ Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled
▪ Chargers for any electronic devices you bring with you
▪ Books, games and other ways to entertain your family and yourself
Note – Public health regulations do not permit pets in shelters; service animals are permitted.
WHAT PEOPLE SHOULD DO
▪ Build an emergency kit with a gallon of water per person, per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, medications, supplies for an infant if applicable, a multi-purpose tool, personal hygiene items, copies of important papers, cell phone chargers, extra cash, blankets, maps of the area and emergency contact information. Many of these items are available through the Red Cross Store at redcrossstore.org.
▪ Talk with household members and create an evacuation plan. Practicing the plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
▪ Be informed. Learn about the community’s hurricane response plan.
▪ Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for pets. Take a First Aid and CPR/AED course (redcross.org/takeaclass) so you know what to do in case emergency help is delayed.
▪ Download the free Red Cross Emergency App to select up to 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts on their mobile device. The content includes expert guidance on what to do before, during and after different emergencies or disasters from home fires to hurricanes. The app can be found in smartphone app stores by searching for American Red Cross, texting ‘EMERGENCY’ to 90999, or by going to redcross.org/apps. For detailed guidance on planning for people with Disabilities, Access and Functional needs, see FEMA’s checklist.
HELP FOR BUSINESSES, SCHOOLS, ORGANIZATIONS The Red Cross Ready Rating™ program helps businesses, schools and other organizations prepare for emergencies that can disrupt daily operations. Ready Rating™ offers specific steps that organizations can take to be better prepared. It includes a planning tool to help their employees or members know what their roles are in the early hours of an emergency, what their next steps are, and a resource center with tools that help businesses, employees and students develop and practice preparedness plans. More information about this valuable program can be found at readyrating.org.
About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.