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Emergency Shelters

The Emergency Shelter is provided for public use in the event an evacuation is necessary and residents have no other option for refuge.

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 be more comfortable in a less crowded environment and among friends. Shelters are generally crowded, usually uncomfortable (especially when the power goes off, since there is no ventilation), have long lines to use restrooms and get food, and are very noisy, making it difficult to rest or sleep. **Keep in mind you may have to stay in the shelter for several days.  Hamilton County will coordinate with the Emergency Operations Center as to when and where the shelter(s) will open.

  • Do not go to a shelter until local officials announce through the media that a shelter is open.
  • The shelter opening will differ by size and intensity of an emergency situation and the numbers of evacuating people seeking public shelter options.
  • Stay tuned to local media as it may relate to pet sheltering options. Shelter Conduct
  • Do not bring weapons of any sort (knives, guns, etc). Alcohol is not permitted at the shelter. 
  • Weapons and alcohol will be confiscated by shelter staff and either turned over to law enforcement or will be disposed. 
  • Smoking is not permitted inside the shelter.
  • A designated smoking area will be identified outdoors, weather permitting. 
  • Individuals who do not follow the shelter rules will be removed. 
  • Hamilton County and its partner agencies will not be responsible for any lost personal belongings or equipment.
  • Personal belongings or equipment brought to the shelter should be marked with your name.

Things to Take to a Public Shelter If you go to a public shelter, you will need to take the following items:

  • A change of clothing
  • Toiletries and personal items;
  • Identification and any important papers;
  • Games, toys, or books for children;
  • Special items for infants or elderly family members;
  • Any special dietary needs and non-perishable foods for snacks;
  • Prescription medications or any over-the-counter medications you normally take.


COVID-19 Alert Regarding Staying in Shelters

Hamilton County Emergency Sheltering has put in place preventive measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus within the shelter. However, Hamilton County cannot guarantee that you may not become infected while on the shelter premises.