Department of Human Services (DHS) Commissioner-nominee Kimberley Causey-Gomez has identified shelters for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.
“After careful deliberation, I am pleased to announce that shelters will be available territory-wide,” she said. These shelters are as follows:
• St. Thomas – Department of Human Services Head Start Center, Sugar Estate and Lockhart Elementary School, 41 Estate Thomas
• St. Croix – Department of Human Services Head Start Center, Mars Hill, Frederiksted and St. Croix Educational Complex, 5A&C VICorp (across from the University of the Virgin Islands)
• St. John – Calabash Boom Community Center
• Water Island – Water Island Fire Station.
The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30. The DHS is the lead agency under the Emergency Services Function (ESF) No. 6 involving mass care.
The goal is to provide safe, temporary accommodation for a significant number of residents and visitors who are threatened by an impending storm or are displaced or homeless after a disastrous event.
“Sheltering is a key component of mass care, and we have been very deliberate in our selections of qualified facilities,” Causey-Gomez said. “To that end, the assurances paramount to the selection of these primary shelters are that they meet all the necessary standards for shelters during a disaster.”
Residents are advised to use shelters in closest proximity to their homes. DHS will provide related updates and provide notice to the public approximately 48 hours in advance regarding shelter openings territory-wide.