11 Horry County schools can be used as shelters

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Irene serves as a very real example of how the Grand Strand could get bad tropical weather, which has a lot of people thinking about what happens when a hurricane forces evacuations.

If people are evacuated, eleven Horry County schools could be used as shelters.

Staff and faculty are getting their buildings prepared in case the local American Red Cross has to use them.

The American Red Cross is known to help people in their time of need, especially during a natural disaster, like Hurricane Irene.

The Horry County school district is helping the community as well by lending out the schools to be used as shelters.

Elizabeth Fletcher works for the Red Cross and said, "We work with the school systems to identify possible schools. We also work with them when we survey the schools and we also work with the county's emergency management system so they are aware of the schools."

The Red Cross meets with school officials to go over plans and gives principals kits equipped with blankets and first aids tools.

The principal of Whittemore Park Middle School, Robbie Watkins, said "They've created these kits for use when they come into our schools so they have done a wonderful job and provided what they need so we don't have to worry about making sure everything is there."

Whittemore Park Middle school is one of the 11 buildings that would be used.

If the school is used as a shelter Watkins first alerts his staff to set up teams.

They have to secure outside items, talk to cafeteria workers about food, and do inventory before turning the building over to the red cross.

Once the Red cross and people from the community are inside the schools folks are assigned hallways.

There are two schools on the list that are voluntary shelters, which means they will open only if the governor declares a voluntary evacuation.

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