NEWPORT — County shelter workers and Salvation Army volunteers were busy Wednesday morning setting up in preparation for the opening of a pet-friendly shelter at Newport Middle School for those seeking refuge from Hurricane Dorian.
The shelter opened at noon for residents opting to come to NMS.
A second non-county operated shelter will open at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Atlantic Elementary School.
The Rev. Adam Self of Atlantic Missionary Baptist Church, who is helping organize the community-run shelter, said he strongly advises Down East residents to evacuate and go to the Newport shelter or out of the area, but the community wanted to open the shelter to residents who want to stay Down East.
“We do understand there are those who do not have the financial means or transportation access to do so. We have a highly dense population of elderly residents and that was a concern,” Rev. Self said Wednesday morning.
He emphasized the Atlantic shelter would not be pet-friendly.
“Those with pets need to go to Newport Middle School,” he said.
According to a press release from the Carteret County Emergency Operations Center, residents who have chronic physical conditions that result in a prolonged dependency on medical care that requires daily skilled intervention can complete the medically fragile forms at carteretcountync.gov/605/Medically-Fragile to receive assistance during the storm.
Residents who have completed forms are being contacted to make sure they have an emergency plan and transportation to a shelter.
Rev. Self said those with medical-related concerns or needs can also contact EOC at 252-726-7061 and one of their representatives will work directly with them.
As for the NMS shelter, it’s being manned by employees of the County Department of Social Services and County Health Department.
County Animal Control employees are managing the pet section of the shelter.
The Salvation Army is serving three meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner, according to Capt. Aaron Goldfarb.
“We unloaded $8,000 worth of food late last night so we should be good to go and the school is letting us use their cafeteria equipment,” Capt. Goldfarb said.
DSS Director Clint Lewis, who helps oversee the NMS shelter, said he isn’t sure how many people will take advantage of the shelter this year but organizers are ready.
“It’s hard to say how many people will show up, but we learned important lessons last year during Hurricane Florence so we’ll be ready for as many people as come,” Mr. Lewis said.
Residents who anticipate sheltering at NMS should bring their personal items such as infant supplies, medications, water, non-perishable food, a can opener, a flashlight with extra batteries, personal hygiene items, clothing for several days, comfort items, such as bedding, and important documents in a waterproof bag.
Residents can call Carteret County Area Transportation System at 252-732-0825 to schedule transportation to the shelter.
This shelter will be pet-friendly for cats and dogs only. Only pets up to date on their rabies vaccination will be accepted. Residents bringing their cats or dogs will need to bring a kennel/crate, food and water for several days, food and water dishes, a leash, medications and toys or other care items.
Some extra crates will be available for those who don’t have them, but that number is limited so those who have them are urged to bring them.
Items that will not be allowed at the shelter include alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs and weapons of any type.
For the AES shelter, Rev. Self emphasized that because Atlantic is a non-county operated shelter, those coming need to bring their own bedding, supplies and food.
“They need to bring their own food because we won’t have access to cooking facilities at the school,” he said. “You will also need to provide your own sleeping bags, pillows, blankets or air mattresses as the school has no cots or other bedding materials to provide.”
He added that no household furniture such as recliners should be brought to the shelter.
For shelters outside of Carteret County, visit readync.gov.
Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email Cheryl@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.