WILMINGTON, NC (NEWS RELEASE) –- The American Red Cross in collaboration with local emergency management offices, the Department of Social Services, and Department of Public Health, has opened emergency shelters for residents of Pender and Onslow County who have been asked to evacuate their homes as a result of a wildfire that started several days ago in the Holly Shelter area.
The following shelters will be open for people affected by the wildfires:
PENDER COUNTY – Shelter opens at 3 p.m. - Please bring necessary personal items*
Topsail Elementary School, 17385 US Highway 17 N, Hampstead, NC 28443
ONLSOW COUNTY – Shelter is open –Please bring necessary personal items*
Southwest Middle School, 3000 Furia Dr., Jacksonville, NC 28540
*Personal items to bring with you to the shelter should include any medicines needed by members of the family, feeding formulas and diapers for infants, a pillow and blanket for each member of the family, a change of clothing, snacks, and books and simple toys for your children.
Additionally, the Red Cross recommends several steps to make the evacuation process as safe and comfortable as possible:
If you need to evacuate, do so immediately. You may have only minutes to act. Protect yourself and your family members.
Follow the route and directions provided by local emergency officials. It’s important that you do not detour from the route provided by officials – it is the safest route!
Lock your home – Others may evacuate after you or return before you. Secure your house as you normally would.
Wear protective clothing. Including sturdy shoes, cotton or woolen long pants and a long-sleeved shirt to protect your skin from hot embers, and gloves. Take a dry handkerchief to protect your face. Smoke can make it difficult to breathe, damaging breathing passages or triggering respiratory distress.
Take your pets with you. If it is not safe for you, it is not safe for them. Red Cross emergency shelters cannot accept pets unless they are service animals. Prepare a list of family, friends, pet-friendly motels and boarding facilities that can shelter your animals in an emergency.
Take your Emergency Preparedness Kit. Having items such as prescription medications, copies of identification and important paperwork, non-perishable food, bottled water and a supply of cash already assembled will make you more comfortable and confident while you are away from home.
Register with the Red Cross Safe and Well Web site. If you are affected by a wildfire, this public site provides a way for you to register yourself and communicate your well-being to your family members. You can input information directly, or, via phone, ask a loved one to register your well-being for other family members and loved ones to access. The site is accessible via www.redcross.org.
Keep listening for updates, as the intensity and the path of the wildfire can change quickly, and without notice.