Dinwiddie Countys' Emergency Operations Plan includes plans for opening emergency shelters should citizens need to evacuate their homes and seek shelter during an emergency event. The Dinwiddie Department of Social Serivces and the American Red Cross are the agencies that primarily coordinate shelter operations. Dinwiddie Elementary School, located at 13811 Boydton Plank Road, generally serves as the primary emergency shelter. However, other county schools or other suitable buildings may be opened instead of or in addition to this site in order to meet the needs of citizens temporarily displaced by an event.
Many times, if evacuations are not imminent or ordered, county buildings such as fire stations, rec centers, etc. will be opened as Convenience Stations instead of shelters. Convenience Stations generally will offer citizens a place to get information, charge electronic devices, use the telephone, fill water containers, use electric medical devices, etc. but will not offer sheltering.
Shelter and Convenience Station openings and locations will be communicated to citizens through emergency public information notifications before, during or after an event.
If the need arises to go to an emergency shelter, citizens should consider the following tips:
- Take with you essential supplies (needed medical items, special dietary items, etc.), several changes of clothes, durable shoes, toiletries, and any prescription medications.
- Take needed bedding (sleeping bags), blankets, pillows, and towels. For convenience take a clothes basket or other container to contain laundry if staying in the shelter for consecutive days.
- Ensure your pets' needs are considered if you are going to a shelter that can accomodate pets. You will need to bring food, medicine, toys, etc for your pet. Some shelters do not allow animals.
- If you have children, be sure to prepare in advance any special items they may need; select and pre-pack a couple toys, books or games to keep children entertained should the need arise to shelter over several days.
- Charge cell phones and electronic devices; take any needed chargers/appropriate cords to plug in units on-site.
- Take identification and emergency contact information with you as well as a notebook, pens, or other writing instruments in case you need to write down instructions or additional information while at the shelter.
- Be sure to secure your home before you leave if you have time to safely do so.