Severe weather: How do you find a shelter? What about your pets?

As another storm takes aim at Florida’s southeast coast, the time to seek shelter is now.

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Here, from the Red Cross, is what you need to do to find a shelter and what you need to bring.

How to find a shelter

You can find information for open Red Cross shelters on, the free Red Cross Emergency app or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Download the app by searching “American Red Cross” in your app store or by going to

Everyone in Red Cross emergency shelters is required to wear face coverings. Help is free and anyone is welcome, the Red Cross said in a statement. The agency does not require identification to enter a shelter.

You can also find a list of open shelters at

Another option to find open shelters is to follow your county and city officials on social media.

What about pets?

According to the Red Cross, some shelters can accommodate pets, while others may not be able to.

“Our workers will do all they can to accommodate service animals and domesticated pets comfortably,” the organization said. “If you go to a shelter, please bring your own animal crate, supplies, medications and food whenever possible. Depending on the situation, pets may need to be housed in a different location with support from animal welfare groups.”

What do you bring to a shelter?

  • Prescription medications
  • Extra clothing
  • Pillows
  • Blankets
  • Hygiene supplies
  • Comfort items
  • Important documents

If you are bringing children to a shelter, bring diapers, formula and toys.

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