Shelter to open in Atmore at 4 p.m.

Residents of Atmore and the surrounding area who have nowhere else to go when Tropical Storm Nate’s howling winds and drenching rains arrive, may seek shelter in the lunchroom of Rachel Patterson Elementary School, 1102 West Craig Street, beginning at 4 p.m.

Police Chief Chuck Brooks recommended that individuals and families make every effort to find friends or family members with whom they can stay, in order that shelter space is available to those in most dire need of it.

“We ask that people try to use the shelter as a means of last resort, because we don’t know how many people we’ll have who will need to use it,” Brooks said during a Saturday strategy meeting with other public safety and emergency officials. “We encourage people to stay with family or friends if possible, as long as they can find a substantial shelter.”

Those who use the shelter are reminded that they should bring enough food for their family members (enough for three days, just in case), blankets on which to sleep and make pallets for children, and any medications that any family member will require (all medicines must be self-administered or administered by a family member or friend).

Parents should also bring coloring books, games and other items to distract children, who usually become bored quickly in a shelter situation.

Mayor Jim Staff made another quick observation as the meeting ended.

“Leave pets, guns and alcohol at home,” he said. “We don’t need any of those at the shelter.”