Shelters to open across county

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 9, 2005

The American Red Cross (ARC) will be setting up shelters in Butler County "as needed" due to Hurricane Dennis.

Jane Thrash, ARC director in Butler, Crenshaw and Pike Counties, said she and shelter crews "are making preparations and awaiting directions from the state EMA director to open shelters in our area."

According to local EMA director Bob Luman, it appears shelters will likely be located in Greenville at Beeland Park (Boys and Girls Club), and at McKenzie School in south Butler County. Greenville High School will also be used as a "medical needs shelter only" meaning it would be open only to people who are using oxygen or have other special medical needs.

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People are asked not to go to the L.V. Stabler Hospital unless they need immediate medical attention. The Butler County Board of Education has also said it will open Georgiana High School for local people to take shelter in during the storm.

During a noon briefing Friday, Luman said he did not know when the shelters would be opened to local residents who will need them and said no time had been set to make the announcement of when they would be opened. He provided no other details except to say "we'll let people know."

Those who live in manufactured housing are encouraged to seek more stable shelter to ride out the storm. In the event of power outages, the ARC encourages everyone to stock up on batteries, ready-to-eat food, and bottled water

"one gallon per person per day."

Those who will be making use of ARC shelters, are reminded to bring all necessary medications, along with bedding (pillows and blankets) and small snacks with them. Thrash said those manning shelters will be able to purchase food from local businesses to feed storm refugees and that after Hurricane Dennis passes, ARC, in conjunction with the Baptist Association, is mobilizing mobile kitchens to go to the hardest hit areas and provide hot meals.

Thrash says local volunteers are "urgently needed" to staff county shelters. Anyone interested in assisting the Red Cross in Butler County, should contact Jane Thrash at (334) 372-5915.

"Rest assured, the Red Cross will be in Butler County to assist hurricane victims as needed," Thrash said