Depending upon the type of disaster, you will be instructed to evacuate to a shelter or to shelter in place. Information on possible evacuations and/or local sheltering is provided by local government through the news media. In lieu of staying at a public shelter many persons will seek shelter with friends or relatives outside of the disaster area. Another option is to stay at commercial lodging outside the disaster area.
In Wicomico County, the Department of Social Services (DSS) is the lead agency responsible for operating local shelters with assistance from other agencies which include: the Health Department, Department of Emergency Services (DES), Humane Society, Red Cross, Board of Education, MAC (Maintaining Active Citizens) and the Sheriff’s Office.
The decision to open a local shelter rests with the director of the DES in consultation with the county executive. To effectively shelter, the hazard / disaster and location within the county involved must be considered and then shelter(s) location(s) will be selected. Various local shelter locations have all ready been identified, which are pet accommodating, in Wicomico County and that can be utilized depending on the type of hazard / disaster involved. Because shelter locations may vary depending on the type of hazard / disaster involved, no permanent locations have been established.
The director of the DES, in considering the type of hazard / disaster involved, will select the appropriate predetermined shelter location(s) from those available in Wicomico County. Information such as location, operational times and items to bring concerning the local shelter(s) to be utilized will be provided by local government through the news media. It is important to note that shelters will be operational well in advance of a known pending disaster.
Further information concerning sheltering operations may be obtained by contacting the Wicomico County Department of Emergency Services at 410-548- 4820.