No one wants to get stuck in a hurricane shelter. They are, and should be, a last resort for keeping you and your family safe. But what if your family includes pets? There are options. Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa Counties all have an emergency shelter that will take pets. John Dosh, Emergency Manager for Escambia County says the idea for the shelters came after seeing the chaos in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina where so many pets were left behind and abandoned.
With some parts of the county receiving close to 13 inches of rain, several shelters were opened in the area, one in Crestview and another at Choctawhatchee High School in Ft. Walton Beach.
The American Red Cross was on hand at the Choctaw gymnasium to provide care for the six Fort Walton Beach families displaced by the storm. Cots and blankets were set up, a food and drink table was nearby, and there was even a basketball available for shooting hoops.
Impact 100 of Northwest Florida is a local organization focused on raising funds from women in Okaloosa and Walton Counties to provide large grants of no less than $100,000 to local non-profit groups in the community
The organization is modeled after the in Pensacola Bay Area group that recently celebrated their 10th anniversary and has the organization’s largest membership; this year surpassing the 1,000 mark.
Christmas Project Cheer is helping to renew hope for residents in mental health treatment facilities in Okaloosa and Walton Counties. For more than 40 years, the project has brought the joy of holiday gifts to this often overlooked group of people.
One out of every four people has a treatable mental health condition. Project Cheer was established by the Mental Health Association of Okaloosa and Walton Counties to provide a little happiness at the holidays to the area’s over 600 residents in need.