Columbia, SC – At the request of local emergency management partners, the Palmetto SC Region of the American Red Cross has begun opening shelters as Hurricane Michael nears.

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Here is the current list of planned openings, as of 4 p.m. Wednesday, October 10:

  • 3765 Leeds Avenue – North Charleston – Opened at noon
  • First Baptist Church of Barnwell – 161 Allen Street, Barnwell – Opened at 2 p.m.
  • Williamsburg Recovery Center – 2084 Thurgood Marshall Hwy, Kingstree – Opened at 10 a.m.
  • Orangeburg City Gym - 1420 Broughton St, Orangeburg – Opened at 3 p.m.
  • Kilbourne Park Baptist Church - 4205 Kilbourne Rd, Columbia – Opened at 5 p.m.
  • Lee Central High School -- 1800 Wisacky Hwy, Bishopville – Opened at 6 p.m.
  • James Brandt Building – 398 Barnwell Highway, Allendale – Opened at 6 p.m.
  • Sumter County Recreation Center -- 155 Haynsworth St, Sumter – Opened at 7 p.m.
  • St. Johns Methodist Church -- 102 E Butler Ave, Saluda – Opened at 7 p.m.
  • Fairfield Magnet - 1647 Hwy 321 By-Pass N Winnsboro – Opened at 7 p.m.
  • Sumter Country Parks and Recreations Gym - 155 Haynsworth St, Sumter - Opened at 7 p.m.
  • McCormick First Baptist Church – 108 S. Oak Street, McCormick – Opened at 8 p.m.
  • Grace Community Church – 1611 Woodlawn Rd, Greenwood – Opened at 8:30 p.m.

Cots will be available at these shelters, but people are urged to bring important medications, pillows, additional blankets, hygiene items and other items for children or anyone with special needs.

To find an open shelter, people can download the free Red Cross Emergency App. It is available in app stores by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/apps. Additional details will be posted on social media (Twitter: @RedCrossSC | Facebook: American Red Cross of South Carolina).

The Red Cross depends on financial donations to be able to provide disaster relief immediately. Help people affected by storms and countless other crises by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.

Severe weather like Hurricane Michael often force the cancellation of blood drives and decrease donor turnout in affected areas. To meet the needs in these impacted areas and throughout the country, the Red Cross asks individuals to give blood. There is a critical need for blood and platelet donations right now. Appointments can be made by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

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You can also review the South Carolina Emergency Management Division's checklist for preparation. Again, no need to panic and run out and buy things at the grocery store. But it's just good to go ahead and look at it. There are a ton of good resources there.