WASHINGTON, N.C. -

Safety officials in Beaufort County have made heat safety their priority. Storms on Sunday evening knocked power out to thousand of people in Eastern North Carolina. The Red Cross responded with a cooling center at P.S. Jones Middle School in the city of Washington.

"People have been taken out of their homes because a lot of their homes have been destroyed," Marie Rice said, Shelter Manager for the Red Cross. "We open shelters regularly during anytime of disaster."

The shelter provided food water and shelter from the heat for dozens of people for several days before it shut down on 3:00 pm, Tuesday.

The last time the Red Cross opened up similar shelters in Beaufort County was during hurricane Irene. There were 3 shelters open for that disaster response.

The Red Cross encourages people to make a Disaster Preparedness Kit which should contain important documents and necessary medications.