Red Cross officials call shower issue “misconception”

Currently 9 churches with hazard agreements in county

The myth that showers must be present for a building to be eligible as a Red Cross-partnered hazard shelter is a rumor that is present among church boards, civic groups and even governments, and the aid group hopes to lay it to rest.

“I’m not sure why there is that misconception out there,” said Red Cross disaster specialist Phillip Iman, based out of the group’s Jefferson City office. “I’ve heard it over and over... and that’s certainly not the case. I would guess out of all the shelter agreements we have, only 10 percent have showers. We want to utilize every partner willing to work with us.”

The shower situation reared its head in Callaway most recently at the July 24 Auxvasse City Council meeting, where the Fulton Sun reported city officials said that permanent showers were a requirement for Red Cross aid.

Iman said that for situations where natural disasters would displace citizens for two or more days, provisions are made for partner buildings that do not have shower fixtures. Temporary showers may be utilized, or — more likely in the case of Auxvasse — a shuttle system between the shelter and North Callaway would be utilized after hours to take advantage of the school’s locker rooms.

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