District 4 Public Health is monitoring and responding to Hurricane Dorian as it heads towards the U.S. County health departments may be impacted as staff assists with medical care in shelters.

As of  September 3, 11 a.m., Hurricane Dorian is a Category 2 storm expected to bring heavy rain and winds to portions of Florida and South Georgia.

D4PH encourages all residents to prepare for Hurricane Dorian as it approaches Georgia:

  • Have a communication plan in place – include one contact that will not be in the storm.
  • Have supplies for each family member – find a checklist.
  • Have a way to receive emergency updates – listen to local media and officials, register for your county EMA’s alert system, use a NOAA radio or install a phone app that provides updates.
  • Secure all outdoor items that may be blown away by severe winds.
  • Evacuate if directed by authorities – follow instructions to ensure safety.
  • Prepare to shelter in place if directed – find a safe room in your home away from windows and doors; make sure to bring your emergency supplies.

Evacuee Shelter Information

Ahead of the storm’s arrival the Atlanta Motor Speedway is opening its camping facilities to evacuees seeking refuge from Hurricane Dorian. The Speedway, which is equipped to handle thousands of campers during its annual NASCAR weekend, will provide camping space free of charge for dry RV and tent campers in its Legends Campground. A limited number of camping spaces with water, power and sewer are also available for a nominal fee of $20 per night in the Premier Campground.Located adjacent to the campgrounds, AMS will also open The Rinnai Shower Station camper bath house, allowing evacuees free access to hot showers and restroom facilities during their stay. More information can be found at https://www.atlantamotorspeedway.com/media/news/ams-opens-camping-facilities-dorian-evacuees.html

More information on shelters open, pet shelters, and pet friendly hotels in Georgia can be found here.

Independent Shelter Guidelines

Many residents across the district may wish to provide cooked meals to evacuees on the road or at independent shelters. While we want evacuees to be fed, we also want them to be safe. The safest way to provide food for evacuees is by donating gift cards at the designated drop-off locations. District 4 Public Health urges any individuals and organizations providing cooked meals to follow proper handwashing, food preparation and food storage procedures to avoid the spread of foodborne illnesses like Salmonella, E. coli and norovirus. Following these guidelines can help create a safe environment for evacuees during their stay.

  • Wash hands frequently. Wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water before, during and after preparing food.
  • Always wash your hands after coughing or sneezing, using the restroom, or disposing trash.
  • Avoid barehanded contact with ready-to-eat foods: fresh fruits, vegetables or precooked/prepackaged foods.
  • Separate raw meats, seafood, poultry and eggs from all other foods.
  • If you are sick, avoid helping with food preparation.
  • Use separate cutting boards and plates for raw meat, seafood and poultry.
  • Use a food thermometer to make sure foods reach internal temperatures high enough to kill germs that can lead to sickness:
    • 145°F for cuts of beef, pork, lamb or veal.
    • 160°F for ground beef or pork.
    • 165°F for poultry, including ground turkey or chicken.
    • 165°F for casseroles or leftovers.
  • When serving foods, always use gloves to avoid barehanded contact.
  • Keep pets and other animals out of the kitchen and away from other food preparation areas.
  • While serving, hot food items should be kept at 135°F or higher and cold foods items should be kept at 41°F or less.
  • Food products not being served immediately should be kept refrigerated. All food left out at room temperature should be disposed of after 2 hours.
  • Limit food donations from outside sources – it is best to only accept prepackaged items.
  • Use bottled water if the shelter is connected to well water.
  • Make sure there is enough space to collect and store trash. Trash may not be collected on the regular schedule if storms impact routes.
  • Keep medication and chemicals out of children’s reach at all times.

Download or print this information.

Additional Information:
USDA-Basics for handling food safety
USDA – Safe Food Handling Fact Sheets
CDC – Four Steps to Food Safety