Brunswick County Residents Stay Safe Inside Red Cross Shelter

People, Pets Find Refuge From Hurricane Matthew at West Brunswick High School

“I feel safe.”  Southport resident Sue Fogle made a point of seeking out Red Cross workers at the shelter at West Brunswick High school to express her appreciation for the treatment she and her husband and son received from the Red Cross and its partners.

“It’s not like I’m living in the lap of luxury, but it’s more than I expected,” Sue said as she spoke with Red Cross volunteer Margo Smickles. She said she expected to sleep on the floor, and did not expect to be fed, but she and all the residents at the shelter received cots, blankets, and three warm meals a day during their stay.

sue-and-margo

Red Cross volunteer Margo Smickles and Southport resident Sue Fogle at the Red Cross shelter at West Brunswick High School

Almost 100 residents stayed in the shelter at West Brunswick High Friday night, as strong winds and heavy bands of rain began to pound parts of southeastern North Carolina.  By mid-afternoon on Saturday, 120 residents were taking refuge at the shelter.  Many were drawn by the shelter’s long-running offer to house pets.

“It’s just something Brunswick County Animal Protective Services has been doing for a long time,” said shelter Manager Lori Bork.  In addition to the 120 people at the shelter, there were 12 dogs, 3 cats and two birds.  The animals were kept separate from the human population, in a room far from the sleeping area, and were monitored by Animal Protective Service Officers.

Other partners assisting the Red Cross with shelter operations included Brunswick County Social Services, Brunswick County Health and Human Services, the Brunswick County School District and the Brunswick County Sheriff’s office.

By Saturday morning, Sue Fogle and her family were among more than 18,000 people who woke up in 183 Red Cross and community evacuation shelters across four states, more than during the height of Superstorm Sandy.

More than 2,200 trained disaster workers, most of them volunteers, were mobilized to respond to the needs of residents in the path of Hurricane Matthew. More volunteers are needed. If you are interested in helping residents affected by Hurricane Matthew, click here.

The Red Cross also deployed 95 emergency response vehicles and pre-positioned 94 trailers stocked with relief supplies including water, ready-to-eat meals, cleaning items and comfort kits, insect repellent, gloves, masks, shovels, rakes, coolers and more. As soon as it is safe to do so, the Red Cross will be coordinating with partners to support people as they return home. If someone needs to find a shelter, they can visit redcross.org, check the Red Cross Emergency App or call 1-800-768-8048. The free Red Cross Emergency App gives users emergency weather alerts, safety and shelter information on their mobile devices. Red Cross apps are available in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

The Red Cross depends on donations to provide immediate relief to residents affected by disasters like Hurricane Matthew. If you’d like to help, visit redcross.org, or call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word MATTHEW to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.

Photo credit: Jim McIntyre/American Red Cross

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