Sheltering & Evacuating


Emergency shelters will open and operate under the direction of emergency management and social services officials. 

Information will be broadcast advising citizens of what shelters will be open and what time they will be able to begin receiving evacuees. 

Jacksonville Commons Middle School serves as a designated pet friendly shelter. If a citizen elects to use the pet friendly shelter they will not be able to drop off their pet and leave. Citizens are required to remain at the shelter with their pet. Citizens will need to bring appropriate and adequate supplies for their pet for the duration of their stay at the pet friendly shelter.

What to Know When Sheltering

Being prepared to stay in a shelter will help reduce stress and make the stay less uncomfortable. All Onslow County Shelter are housed inside school buildings. Below is basic information about our shelters:
  • A limited supply of military style cots will be available on a first come first serve basis. 
  • You should bring personal items to help make your stay more comfortable. Here is a checklist of What to Bring to A Shelter.
  • The shelters will provide 3 meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Snacks and Coffee are not always available. 
  • You will be asked to register when you arrive at the shelter. You can come and go as you please but we ask that you let shelter staff know if you are leaving so that they can keep track of how many people they have staying with them. 
  • Please bring blankets, sheets or sleeping bags for bedding and warmth.
  • Please remember you will be sharing tight quarters with a lot of people. Be courteous and kind. Minimize loud noise after 8pm. Bring earplugs if you wish to listen to a radio or computer. 

Shelter Locations

1. Coastal Elementary School

370 Folkstone Road
Holly Ridge, NC 28445

2. Jacksonville Commons Middle School (pet friendly)

315 Commons Drive South
Jacksonville, NC  28546

3. Queens Creek Elementary

159 Queens Creek Road
Swansboro,, NC 28584

4. Clearview Elementary School

180 Clear View School Road
Jacksonville, NC 28540



Planning ahead will help you be prepared for any emergency that may occur. This is true whether you choose to leave your home or if you choose, or are asked, to "shelter-in-place" by local response agencies. In some instances, like a hurricane, you may have several days to get things ready but in some emergencies you may only have minutes. 

Always remember to follow the orders of the local emergency management officials

The guidelines below will help with both an evacuation and a shelter-in-place situation. 
  1. Evacuation
  2. Shelter-In-Place
  • Listen to local media.
  • Fill your car with gasoline. Take only one vehicle to lower the amount of traffic.
  • Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by severe weather.
  • Plan where your family will meet and go. Tell family or friends of your plans.
  • Map out your path, using travel paths listed by police.
  • If possible, leave and go to a friend’s home in a safe area. Next, try a motel or hotel. As a last resort, go to a shelter. Remember, shelters are not made for comfort.
  • Take your family’s and pet’s emergency kits. Bring key family papers.
  • Bring extra cash. Banks may be closed, and cash tellers may not work.
  • Lock doors and windows before leaving your house. Unplug radios, toasters, televisions and small appliances. Be sure to turn off water, gas and power.
  • Ask neighbors if they need a ride.