At this time, there are no shelters open in New Hanover County. 

In the event of an emergency, New Hanover County may order residents to evacuate from dangerous areas and may choose to open shelters. The type of emergency and area affected will determine evacuation areas, as well as where and how many shelters will be opened. Social distancing guidelines and shelter guidance from the American Red Cross requires about 100 square feet of space per person to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which will greatly reduce the capacity of county emergency shelters for the 2020 hurricane season. Residents should plan now where they will go if a storm impacts our area. County emergency shelters will be very limited and should only be considered as a last resort.

The shelters listed below are predetermined locations in the county that may be used as emergency shelters. If needed, county officials will work with the state’s Emergency Management division to open additional shelters at inland locations.

It is important to note that the shelters will not open or close at the same time. In the event of an emergency, check this web page, TV, and radio for shelter updates. Learn more about the county’s emergency shelters in the panels below.

No emergency shelters are currently open.

Blair Elementary School
6510 Market St.
Wilmington, NC 28405
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Codington Elementary School
4321 Carolina Beach Rd.
Wilmington, NC 28412
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Eaton Elementary School
6701 Gordon Rd.
Wilmington, NC 28405
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Johnson Pre-K School
1100 McRae St.
Wilmington, NC 28401
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Trask Middle School
2900 N. College Rd.
Wilmington, NC 28405
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Residents are encouraged to bring the following items for yourself and each of your family members. Be sure to bring medications and food (prepackaged only) for special dietary needs.

  • Sleeping bag, bedroll, or sheets and blankets and pillows.
  • Prescription medications in their original bottle.
  • Specials items and food that infants and elderly household members may require.
  • Extra clothing, hygiene supplies, and other comfort items.
  • Personal identification, cash, checkbook, and credit cards.
  • Snacks or comfort foods
  • Time occupiers: books, magazines, games, or cards.

Items that are strictly prohibited include:

  • Weapons
  • Alcohol/illegal drugs

Please note that smoking is restricted in emergency shelters.

Other items you should consider:

  • Social Security card
  • Proof of residence
  • Insurance policies and contact telephone numbers for your insurance company
  • Birth and marriage certificates
  • Stocks, bonds, and other negotiable certificates
  • Wills, deeds, and copies of recent tax returns

At least one shelter will be designated a pet co-location shelter where residents can evacuate with their cats or dogs. If you plan to bring a pet to a co-location shelter, please note:

  • Only cats and dogs can be accepted at the shelter
  • Owners must stay at the shelter with their pets
  • Pets will be housed in a separate area of the shelter due to health and safety concerns
  • Bring your pet(s) vaccination records and at least a 5 to 7 day supply of food

In an emergency situation, it is best to keep your pets with you if possible. If you need to evacuate and can’t take your pets, New Hanover County Animal Services will shelter pets for free during an emergency. The animal shelter is located at 180 Division Drive in Wilmington. Space is limited and available on a first come, first-served basis. Please call (910) 798-7500 with questions.