Cabarrus officials give advice on finding shelter in storm

Published 1:27 pm Wednesday, September 12, 2018

CONCORD – To help residents develop effective safety plans in preparation of Hurricane Florence, here are some things to know about sheltering procedures, courtesy of Cabarrus County Emergency Management.


  1. Sheltering in place: To effectively shelter, first consider the hazard. Depending on your circumstance and the nature of the disaster, there may be situations when it’s best to stay where you are and avoid any uncertainty outside.

Here are some tips for sheltering in place:

  • During high winds, go to a small, interior, windowless room or hallway on the lowest floor that is not subject to flooding.
  • If trapped by flooding, go to the highest level of the building.
  • Do not climb into a closed attic.
  • Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery outdoors only and away from windows.
  • Do NOT walk, swim or drive through flood waters.
  • Stay off bridges over fast-moving water.


  1. Sheltering at a mass care facility: Anyone with a need to leave their home due to a disaster or emergency is welcome at any shelter. No reservation is required, just show up.
  1. Shelter availability: Cabarrus County has the ability to open up to 37 designated shelter sites.


  1. Shelter openings: Cabarrus County Emergency Management uses a tiered approach to sheltering, based upon area of impact and need. As needs expand, additional shelters are opened.


  1. Shelter notifications: Cabarrus County Emergency Management will notify the public about shelter openings. As shelters open, they are listed with NC Emergency Management and National Shelter Systems. This information is accessible through:
  • The ReadyNC app
  • Links on the county’s website and social media


  1. Site qualifications: The county uses a combination of government, business, faith-based and school facilities. Each site has been inspected and approved for use by Cabarrus County and the American Red Cross.


  1. Transportation to shelters: If the situation warrants and it is safe to do so, Cabarrus County provides transportation to open shelters through the Cabarrus County Transportation Services (CCTS). The county will provide more information on how to schedule rides as shelters open.


  1. What to bring: Mass care shelters provide water, food, non-prescription medication and basic sanitary facilities, but bring your disaster supply kit and prescribed medication. Alcoholic beverages and weapons are forbidden in emergency shelters and smoking is restricted.


  1. Pet-friendly shelters: Service animals are approved at any shelter facility. For public health reasons, not all shelters can accommodate pets and not all pets are accepted at pet-friendly facilities. Search for the pet-friendly notification. Please remember to bring food, bowls, medicines, documents, collars or harnesses with ID tag, rabies tag and a leash for your pet.

Cabarrus emergency officials continue to coordinate with local, state and federal partners in preparing for the storm’s potential impacts, said Bobby Smith, director of Cabarrus County Emergency Management. Residents should pay close attention to official weather alerts from the National Weather Service, Smith added.

Prepare by downloading the ReadyNC app on your smartphone or tablet. For more information, visit

Cabarrus County provides updates on severe weather emergencies and Cabarrus County Government closings in a variety of places. Sign up now to stay informed.

The county also sends notifications through local media outlets.