Two state-managed shelters for Hurricane Florence set-up in Hampton Roads

Two state-managed emergency shelters will be opening at Christopher Newport University in Newport News and at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg to help residents evacuating in anticipation of Hurricane Florence, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesday.

The state shelters will be at Christopher Newport University in Newport News and at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg.

The shelters will provide additional capacity to assist residents leaving areas of Virginia under mandatory evacuation orders and those coming into Virginia from other states who have nowhere else to shelter.

Currently, 24 localities are opening local shelters for their residents according to the governor’s office. The two state shelters augment the state’s ability to assist resident in need.

“Virginians are heeding our advice to seek higher ground and safe shelter in advance of Hurricane Florence,” Northam said. “We encourage citizens to seek shelter first with friends and family, to consider hotels outside of evacuation areas, and then look to local shelters, and lastly to state shelters. Leave early. Plan to be off the roads before the storm arrives to avoid unsafe driving situations and traffic congestion, and stay put until the storm passes.”

If an event’s actual or projected demand for sheltering exceeds the local jurisdiction’s capabilities, mutual aid agreements are activated between other communities.

When necessary, the state provides assistance to local and regional sheltering operations and can operate state-coordinated regional shelters.

Important Shelter Information

  • No identification or proof of residency is required to seek shelter.
  • For a list of shelters open in your area, visit your local government’s website and social media pages.
  • Be sure to include medications, hearing aid batteries, reading glasses, special medical equipment (oxygen tank, tubing, nebulizer kits, catheters, etc.).
  • If you have electrical medical equipment that will need to be recharged, bring the appropriate charging cords, spare batteries and other equipment with you to the shelter.
  • If your medication has run out, please bring your prescription bottle.
  • For more information about locally available social services you can contact 2-1-1 statewide, or in some communities, you can call 3-1-1- for local information.
  • If you need more shelter information, you can contact your locality social services department. Individuals contacting 211 who require relay service due to hearing impairment need to dial 711 for Virginia Relay then 1-800-230-6977.
  • Service animals will be permitted at all shelters.
  • Services will be available for people with disabilities and/or with access and functional needs regardless of whether they are accompanied by personal care providers or family.
  • State-coordinated shelters will provide only basic, necessary services and support to help ensure disaster survivors are able to stay safe, healthy and can begin the recovery process.

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John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.