Storm Shelter

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Shelter Location

When a dangerous storm is headed our way, the Emergency Management Team will determine if and when the emergency shelter will open to residents.  The shelter is currently located inside Thomas Hunter Middle School, 387 Church Street, Mathews, VA 23109. The Department of Social Services staff operate the shelter.

It is projected that in the Spring 2018, the new YMCA building located at 29 Cricket Hill Road, Hudgins, will be open.  County officials have negotiated a lease with officials from the YMCA for the County to be allowed to use this building as the new local emergency shelter.  We are hoping this will take place in the Fall of 2018.  At that point, Thomas Hunter Middle School will no longer be utilized as a shelter.

Shelter Instructions

Prior to and/or immediately following a large scale emergency and/or disaster, Mathews County may open an emergency disaster shelter based upon need and the estimated numbers of displaced persons. The shelter is staffed by the Mathews County Department of Social Services. Citizens will be notified the shelter is open via news and radio reports. A Code Red Alert may also notify citizens when the shelter has opened. The shelter may not be able to provide basic supplies, materials, and common comforts. Consider bringing extra items (e.g. blanket, pillow, air mattress, towel, washcloth, diapers, food and supplies for infants.)

Citizens who are considering coming to the shelter will be asked to complete registration paperwork upon arrival. A staff member from the shelter will help those who are unable to complete the form. Pets are allowed, although they must be separate from their humans, unless the animal is a service animal.  Animal control is in charge of the pet shelter. Provide for your pet. 

What to Bring

When coming to the shelter, citizens should bring the following with them:

  • prescription medication and emergency first aid kit'
  • food (canned or packaged) and water for your family (at least enough for 3 to 5 days)
  • medical equipment such as a wheelchair/walker, oxygen, etc.
  • extra clothing· pillows, blankets and sleeping bags
  • hygiene supplies (toothbrush, toothpaste, wash cloth, soap, deodorant)· toiletries, glasses/contacts, hearing aids and dentures
  • flashlight with extra batteries
  • quite games, toys, books, cards
  • baby food and formula
  • diapers and wipes
  • beach chair or camp chair
  • identification, car keys, credit cards and cash
  • insurance papers
  • other comfort items

Mathews Department of Social Services shelter staff are not able to provide child care or medical care to any individual in the shelter.  Parents are responsible for their child(ren) at all times.  Be sure you contact family outside the area to let them know you are going to the shelter.  Keep important phone numbers written down in case your cell phone battery dies.  You may not bring illegal drugs, alcoholic beverages, or weapons into the shelter.  Please keep in mind you may not have access to a refrigerator or electricity in the shelter.  There are a limited number of cots and bedding available.  When you leave the shelter you will need to sign out with shelter staff.

Additional Shelter Rules and Considerations

  • You must sign in before being officially admitted into any shelter
  • "Shelter hopping" is not permitted
  • You are responsible for your belongings. Valuables should always be locked in your car or kept with you. The shelter is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items.
  • Parents are responsible for controlling the actions of and knowing the whereabouts of their children. Children should not be left unattended.
  • If you have a medical condition or are taking medication, please notify the shelter registration staff.
  • Noise levels should be kept at a minimum during all hours of the day. Quiet hours are observed between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
  • Please do your best to keep the shelter as neat and orderly as possible.

Prohibited Items at the Shelter

  • Alcohol, drugs, other illegal substances
  • Pets (except service animals)
  • Loud radios or televisions
  • Smoking, matches, lighters
  • Weapons of any kind (guns, knives, chains, etc.)

If you have any questions about the shelter in Mathews County, please contact Mathews County Department of Social Services 804-725-7192.