Austin Area To Begin Sheltering Hurricane Laura Evacuees Today

Austin, TX – In response to mandatory evacuation orders in Galveston County, Austin-Travis County will begin accepting hurricane Laura evacuees at Circuit of the Americas, beginning at 4:00 p.m. today. This effort is coordinated in conjunction with the Austin-Travis County Emergency Operations Center and the ongoing COVID-19 activation.

Displaced individuals will begin their intake process at the Circuit of the Americas in parking lot A. At that time, they will be assigned to a shelter by the Capital Area Shelter Hub Plan staff. These shelters will be hotels located throughout the Austin area. Once assigned to a shelter, evacuees will be asked to proceed directly to their designated lodging. Both intake and sheltering processes have been revised to be in accordance with current COVID-19 orders.

In contrast to past weather events, evacuees will be sheltered in individual hotel rooms instead of a large common area. They will be asked not to have visitors to their room and wear a mask whenever outside of their room, wash hands frequently, and maintain 6 feet of distance from others outside of their household. To ensure everyone is kept safe from COVID-19 amid hurricane Laura relief efforts, should an evacuee develop symptoms or at risk of exposure, they will be asked to inform their shelter manager immediately.

Testing is available for free from Austin Public Health. Those with a vehicle can sign up for testing via the online portal, located at AustinTexas.gov/COVID19. If you do not have access to a vehicle, testing can be arranged at the shelter. To get tested at the hotel you are staying at, please call 512-972-5560 during regular business hours to schedule an appointment.

Evacuees will be provided three meals a day and access to a phone, internet, and television. For the most up-to-date information regarding the hurricane Laura evacuation by text message, text “ATXShelter” to 888-777. Periodic updates will be sent through this platform about shelter operations, the status of affected communities, and transportation availability back to the coast. Alternatively, call 512-978-1510 regularly for updates. Finally, for information about City operations and traffic conditions, monitor the City of Austin social media on Twitter (@austintexasgov) or the City website at www.AustinTexas.gov/help.


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