Washburn County Emergency Shelter

Emergency Shelter Location

Birchwood School
300 South Wilson St
Birchwood, WI 54817

Status: CLOSED

Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary
N2384 Hunt Hill Rd
Sarona, WI 54870
Status: CLOSED

Northwoods School
N14463 HWY 63
Minong, Wi 54859
Status: CLOSED

Shell Lake High School
271 HWY 63
Shell Lake, Wi 54871
Status: CLOSED

Spooner Elementary School
1821 Scribner St
Spooner, Wi 54801
Status: CLOSED

Spooner High School
801 County Highway A
Spooner, Wi 54801
Status: CLOSED

WI National Guard Armory
624 E. Maple St
Spooner, Wi 54801
Status: CLOSED

Information & Services

What are Emergency Public Shelters?

Public shelters are a refuge for those seeking temporary safety from a disaster or emergency. People going to a public shelter are doing so because they have been ordered to evacuate, caught on the road away from their home, or left their home believing that remaining there was unsafe.

Shelters offer minimal necessities. They are often noisy and crowded. They could be hot, or they could be cold. Usually they are uncomfortable. Restroom facilities are not like those in your home. Food is not gourmet and may not be on a schedule you are accustomed.

There is often a shortage of volunteers to help manage shelters. You will not be waited on. You could be requested to volunteer as a shelter worker while staying there.

What Shelters are not

They are not fun-filled community centers with organized activities, entertainment and personalized service. They are not a vacation away from home. Shelters are not intended to make available more than minimal needs; a roof overhead, relative safety, restrooms and some food and water.

When to go to a Shelter

You should go a shelter because the authorities have ordered an evacuation of the area in which you reside. You should go to a public shelter when traveling and determining that wind, flooding or other conditions are such that continued travel is unsafe. You know your own home best. You should go to a public shelter when you determine that conditions at or around your home are no longer safe. Don't wait and try to leave to late.

What is "Sheltering-in-Place"?

"Shelter-in-place" means to take immediate shelter where you are—at home, work, school or in between—usually for just a few hours. Local authorities may instruct you to "shelter-in-place" if biological, chemical or radiological contaminants are released into the environment or if there is a large scale infectious disease outbreak. For more information about Sheltering-in-Place, please visit the Red Cross.

General Population Shelters

Commonly known as public shelters. These are pre-identified, have been inspected by the American Red Cross to meet its standards, and have a minimum of trained shelter management staff. They have restrooms and the ability to prepare or distribute a limited prepared meals. There could be a nurse on duty.

Shelter Staff

Shelter management and staff are provided by the American Red Cross, Human Services and the Local Health Department.

Food and Water

Public shelters open with what food and water is on hand. There is always the possibility that the water system may be interrupted. The original food could be used before additional supplies arrive. Those planning on using a public shelter should be prepared to take food and water with them. Plan on one gallon of water a day per person.

Shelter Openings will be Announced

Washburn County Emergency Management will notify the public of which shelters will be used and when they will open. This will include the notification of the news media, the use of this Internet site.

Among those organizations that will be notified are municipal government, public utilities, health care organizations and every department of county government.

The American Red Cross shelter regulations will not permit pets in public shelters. In Washburn County, we abide by the ARC regulations. There is an exception, service dogs used by the sight impaired may be permitted. Arrangements for your pet should be part of each family’s disaster planning.

Several options are open to you. 1) Make arrangements to leave the pet(s) with a friend or relative who is not evacuating 2) Make arrangements with a veterinarian or kennel to care for your pet.

Shelter Rules

  • You MUST sign in upon arriving and sign out upon leaving
  • No alcohol or non-prescriptions drugs
  • No smoking is permitted inside of the shelters
  • No guns or weapons
  • No pets
  • No disorderly or disruptive behavior
  • Shelter users must be respectful of the building and grounds being loaned to them as a shelter
  • Somebody else owns the facility. Your are their guest.
  • Be courteous and respectful others

Shelter Supply List

       What to bring to a Shelter:

  • Baby formula, diapers and other needs
  • A 3-day supply of medications
  • Personal grooming and hygiene items
  • Specialty items and feminine supplies
  • Extra pair of eyes glasses
  • Flash light with batteries
  • Lawn chair / chaise lounge
  • Books, magazines, playing cards, board games
  • Extra clothing
  • Personal identification and important papers/documents
  • Wheelchair or walker, if needed
  • Oxygen, if needed
  • Other necessary medical device, i.e.dentures, hearing aids, etc.

If we can help further, contact us at Washburn County Emergency Management.