Salvation Army, local counties have shelters prepared

The Salvation Army will have 50 mobile canteens ready

If this storm hits, we want to make sure there is somewhere for you to go if you decide to stay.

The Salvation Army of Tampa currently has 100 of their mobile canteens in Houston assisting those displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

Ten of the canteens made their way back to Tampa on Wednesday morning.

There are now 50 of them in Florida ready to assist those affected by Hurricane Irma. One canteen can make 1,500 meals.

Capt. Andy Miller, who is area commander for the Salvation Army in Tampa, says their warehouse has plenty of food for their shelters along with the "evacuation shelters" in the area.

“We have 240,000 meals ready to go from there wherever the most affected area is,” says Miller.

Salvation Army Tampa has partnered with a group that has airplanes to help them send resources to places they’re not able to get to, like the Florida Keys.

Miller says they also have food in New Orleans that can be shipped to Florida if needed.

Besides food, the shelter is prepared with an extra 50 beds for anyone to use, with a few for people with special needs.

There are designated special needs shelters. A special needs shelter is a temporary emergency facility capable of providing care to residents whose medical condition exceeds the capabilities of the Red Cross Shelter but is not severe enough to require hospitalization.

Hillsborough and Pinellas County each have three; they will be assigned when an evacuation order is called.

Tampa Fire Chief Thomas Forward said during a press conference Wednesday morning that special needs people are already registering to get into those shelters.

“Those centers were closing down for registration because they already had more redistricted people than they do room.” Says Forward, “So, that is a real concern.”

HILLSBOROUGH SHELTERS:

In order to accommodate residents who need evacuation assistance to a Special Needs Shelter, it is most important that they pre-register in advance for placement into a shelter. This will help in determining what level of sheltering is necessary to provide residents with the appropriate level of care during an evacuation.

You can print out an application at this website. For more information, call (813) 307-8000.

PINELLAS SHELTERS

If you have your own transportation to a special needs shelter, preregistration is not required, but it is strongly recommended.

If you are registered and need transportation to a shelter, your local fire department will contact you before an evacuation. You may bring your caregiver and/or family with you to a special needs shelter. 

The Special Needs Evacuation Assistance program has moved to an expedited process.

Please call (727) 464-4333 to register for evacuation assistance and special needs sheltering.

Pinellas County officials say they've received over 2,000 registration forms from people with special needs. They have room for all of them.

For a Level C evacuation, Pinellas is able to house 42,000. They tell us only 5 percent would use the shelters -- that's 30,000 people.

So, there are enough shelters.

We also asked Hillsborough County but have not heard back.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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