Many residents are able to safely shelter at home in the event of a hurricane or other emergency. However, some residents are required to evacuate their homes. This can be especially difficult for residents who are disabled, have special needs, or are otherwise vulnerable during an emergency. To the extent possible, shelters provide residents basic protection from the storm and the necessary assistance to help them get through the emergency. Residents who must evacuate their home have several options to consider:
Option One: Stay with family or friends outside the Evacuation Zone
This is your first, best choice and where you will be most comfortable.
Option Two: Stay in a General Population Shelter
General Population shelters provide a basic level or care and are open to all. No pre-registration is required. If you have a self-managed health condition or disability, you will likely be able to shelter comfortably in a General Population shelter. Provisions at the shelter will be very limited. Bring identification and comfort items such as bedding (blankets and pillows), folding chair, special dietary foods (if needed), snacks, bottled water, medications, etc. Use the Emergency Checklist to help you in preparing items to take to the shelter. When you arrive at the shelter, be sure to tell shelter personnel what your needs are.
Service animals are permitted in General Population Shelters so long as the pet meets the requirements under Federal law. Visit ADA Requirements for Service Animals for additional information. However, pet-friendly shelters are available for residents owning pets, not considered a service animal and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. A pet-friendly shelter is not a General Population shelter and staying with family, friends or at a pet-friendly hotel outside an evacuation zone should be your first and best option. Pets accepted include: Dogs, Cats, domestic Birds, Rabbits, Gerbils, Guinea Pigs, Mice and Hamsters. All pets must be in a carrier/crate and all dogs must have a collar with leash. Evacuees must show proof of rabies certificate for dogs and cats. Evacuees should bring necessary care supplies for a week such as, supply of food and water, food/water bowls, cat litter and litter box, medicine, cleaning supplies, etc.
Option Three: Stay in a Medically Fragile Shelter
If you are dependent on electricity for your medical needs, or have a medical condition that cannot be supported at a General Population shelter, we recommend you pre-register for the Carteret County Medically Fragile Registry.
The Medically Fragile Registry is a database containing information about individuals in Carteret County with special needs who may require assistance in the event of a disaster. People with special medical needs include individuals who would need assistance with medical assistance with medical or personal care during evacuations and sheltering because of physical or mental impairments. The level of care for these individuals would go beyond the basic first aid care that is available in general public shelters.
If there is a disaster, the Medically Fragile registrant can call the Carteret County Medically Fragile Command Center at 252-222-5841 and receive information about how to prepare for or respond to the disaster and information regarding medical shelters. Please note that the Medically Fragile Command Center is only staffed in the event of a disaster. An announcement will be made to the public via the media. Depending on the event, individuals on the registry can be called to check on their well-being.