Bay County officials open shelter ahead of Alberto

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Bay County will open a general population and special needs shelter at Deane Bozeman School at 13140 State Road 77 at 6 p.m. in anticipation of deteriorating weather caused by Tropical Storm Alberto.

County officials urge anyone living in low-lying areas and mobile homes to consider relocating.

We're told the shelter is a place to stay when no other sheltering option is available. Officials say it should only be used as a back-up to a personal sheltering plan. The shelter will not provide the comfort or convenience of a home or hotel, nor will it provide the level of care found in a medical facility. Officials tell us the shelter may be noisy, crowded and boring.

However, if you do need to use the shelter opening at Deane Bozeman School, county officials say you can expect the following:

--Food and water (Users should bring special food or snacks if desired. Food must be non-perishable.)

--Basic medical assistance and monitoring. (Complex medical equipment or care is not available in special needs shelter. Please bring medical supplies and current medications to support medical needs.

--Bedding for the user and caregiver. Caregivers are required for personas using the special needs shelter.

--Back-up electricity for light and essential medical equipment.

Officials are urging anyone using the shelter to bring the following:

--An emergency kit

Officials are urging anyone using the shelter to NOT bring:

--Alcoholic beverages
--Illegal drugs

NOTE: Pets ARE ALLOWED in the shelter. Their care, however, officials say is the sole responsibility of the owner.

County officials say the Florida Department of Health in Bay County will provide care and supervision to help meet special medical needs during an evacuation. To the extent possible under emergency conditions, the shelter will provide a safe sheltering environment and basic assistance to maintain a user’s current level of health.

You may be eligible for medical care at the shelter if:

--You have special medical needs but do not require hospitalization.
--You need assistance with basic everyday tasks.
--You have a chronic condition that requires assistance.

For the most current information, please follow Bay County on Facebook at @BayCountyFLEmergencyServices.