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Kiddo hurricane kit & what else you should bring to a hurricane shelter

Image License: MGN Photo: Farron Salley

If you have to leave your home, one option is a hurricane shelter. They're operated by the American Red Cross in public buildings, such as schools.

They do not provide many supplies.

If you have to head to a hurricane shelter, your stress level is probably already sky-high. Worries, "what ifs" and the unknown are bearing down. It can be hard to think straight, let alone strategically. Planning now will take a bit of the burden off if and when storms are threatening.

Chris Neal works for B.R.A.C.E., the Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies. B.R.A.C.E. works with 500 non-profit partners to help with every phase of an emergency response.

Neal said it's important to know what is and is not available at hurricane shelters.

"Cots are available," he said. "There will be food and water. Some shelters will provide blankets, but not all."

There will also be bathroom facilities.

Sleeping bags, snacks, official identification, device chargers, rain gear, and a battery-operated radio are all items you will need, along with books and maybe a deck of cards to help pass the time.

Staying positively occupied is always a challenge when sheltering, especially for little ones. Stress and strange places can add to children's anxiety levels. Neal says some families make a "kiddo hurricane kit" to kick off the summer season.

"The beginning of hurricane season, have your kids go ahead and gather some things they definitely like," he said, "And go ahead and have them in a box so you have that ready."

Include necessities and playthings.

"Diapers, formula, but also general things such as books, coloring books, puzzles and games."

Neal said it's important to replace food and water items every six months, so your supplies are safe when you need them the most.

Hurricane Shelters

Escambia County

Santa Rosa County

Okaloosa County

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