JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX)- The Gautier Convention Center will open its doors at 7:00 Sunday morning, to anyone who believes they need shelter from Tropical Storm Fay. The shelter will be run jointly by Jackson County and the American Red Cross. The Red Cross will provide cots, blankets, snacks and meals all day long, or until the shelter isn't needed anymore. The shelter is also equipped with a generator, so it can cater to people with special needs, in case of a power outage.
Jackson County EOC Director Butch Loper has been tracking Fay for days. He doesn't predict major damage from the storm, but he is working with the American Red Cross, turning the Gautier Convention Center into a shelter.
"This is strictly just open for those that feel uncomfortable, or perhaps know they are in an area prone to flooding," he said, "We just wanted to make sure something was available for them."
The shelter is a precautionary measure, but it will be open to anyone who needs it and will remain open until need runs out.
"It's certainly not meant to be the Hilton; it's certainly not supposed to be an entertaining place," said Southeast Mississippi Red Cross Director Paige Roberts. "But it is meant to be a safe place to give you the feeling of security that you need."
If you go to the shelter, there are some things you should bring with you. They include blankets, pillows, snacks, activities for children and medication.
The Red Cross will be available to the community throughout the storm.
"We're here for you, if you have any questions at all, you can always call the office or call the Emergency Management Agency," Roberts said. "And just know that you have a plan and you're comfortable with your plan."