Evacuation & Shelters

In the event of an emergency, New Hanover County may order residents to evacuate from dangerous areas and may choose to open shelters. The type of emergency and area affected will determine evacuation areas, as well as where and how many shelters will be opened. If an event requires the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to be activated, county officials will provide emergency information and instructions, including details about shelter openings.

When creating your emergency preparedness plan, include plans for both evacuating and staying put, also referred to as "sheltering in place." Read more about preparing for each of these scenarios in the panels below. More information is also available at ReadyNC.org.

Twenty Eastern North Carolina counties participate in the NCEM Know Your Zone program. This is one of MANY tools that NHC Emergency Management uses to help you make the decision to evacuate during a coastal weather event. Learn more here.

Be sure to visit the alerts page to sign up for Emergency Alerts to get information in case of an evacuation or shelter-in-place order.

Flood Shelters

Residents should plan now where they will go when a storm impacts our area. County emergency shelters will be very limited and should only be considered as a last resort.

Public shelters should be considered "shelters of last resort" with very basic provisions for a safe, dry environment, and limited meal capabilities. At least one shelter will be designated a pet co-location shelter where residents can evacuate with their cats or dogs.

For residents who choose to stay at a shelter during an emergency, please review the list of recommended items to bring and other items to consider, and plan to take your disaster supplies kit with you. Keep in mind that alcoholic beverages and weapons are forbidden in emergency shelters, and smoking is restricted. If you plan to bring a pet to a co-location shelter, please note:

  • Only cats and dogs can be accepted at the pet co-location shelter
  • Owners must stay at the shelter with their pets
  • Pets will be housed in a separate area of the shelter due to health and safety concerns
  • Bring your pet(s) vaccination records and at least a 5 to 7-day supply of food

The shelters listed below are predetermined locations in the county that may be used as emergency shelters. If needed, county officials will work with the state's Emergency Management division to open additional shelters at inland locations.

It is important to note that the shelters will not open or close at the same time. In the event of an emergency, check online, TV, and radio for shelter updates.

The below shelter locations are used for planning purposes. To see what shelters, if any, are open, visit Emergency Information.

Blair Elementary School
6510 Market Street
Wilmington, NC 28405

Codington Elementary School
4321 Carolina Beach Road
Wilmington, NC 28412

Eaton Elementary School
6701 Gordon Road
Wilmington, NC 28405

Johnson Pre-K School
1100 McRae Street
Wilmington, NC 28401

Trask Middle School
2900 N College Road
Wilmington, NC 28405