AUSTIN, Texas -- The state of Texas and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urge residents traveling inland ahead of Hurricane Ike to arrive prepared if they are seeking refuge in an evacuation shelter.
Most evacuation shelters open ahead of Hurricane Ike fulfill a critical, immediate purpose: they provide residents with safe, dry places to wait out the storm for 12 to 24 hours. The shelters offer restrooms, meals, disaster information and access to medical and mental health care.
However, at this time shelters will generally not have cots. Nor will they have pillows, blankets, towels and toiletries - so officials urge evacuees to bring these items with them, along with extra clothes and prescription medicine, money, vital documents (IDs, insurance papers) and infant supplies and cleanup products that should be part of disaster supply kits. They also should pack pet products, including food, leashes, carriers, medications and health records. Although pets will not be sheltered in the same locations as their owners, officials at shelter locations can help connect evacuees with available pet shelters.
Most evacuation shelters will be joint operations among cities, schools and the American Red Cross. More than 100 onsite FEMA community relations specialists - including speakers of Spanish, Korean, Laotian and Vietnamese - will support shelter operations by tracking needs and relaying information to state officials.
For more shelter information, including locations, residents can call 1-800-RED-CROSS.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.