The Tulsa Red Cross brought 1,000 cots with them to Miami Monday.
The cots have been used to set up emergency shelters throughout Miami, starting at the First Christian Church on North Main Street.
A second shelter was set up at the First Baptist Church at First and A streets SW.
According to Nellie Kelly, a spokesperson for the Tulsa Red Cross, four additional churches are on standby in case more room is needed.
“We're also providing cots for at least 50 members of the Oklahoma National Guard who are supposed to be coming in sometime this afternoon,” Kelly said. “The cots are supposed to be set up in the Miami Civic Center.”
The churches are serving as community shelters and are open to the general public who have had to evacuate their homes.
“First Christian Church is especially good as a community shelter because of its large size and its facilities, including showers,” Kelly said.
Anyone who is evacuated and does not have somewhere else to stay is invited to make use of the shelters.
There are no specific requirements including citizenship or residency.
Kelly stressed that there is no charge for the use of the facilities.
Evacuees are greeted at the building entrance and asked to sign in, which enables the Red Cross to keep an accurate count of those serviced.
They receive a cot, a blanket, three meals a day and snacks until the water recedes and they can safely return to their homes.
As of Monday afternoon, it was said at a city press conference that the water might not crest until Wednesday.
While at the shelter, evacuees can meet with caseworkers and volunteers will perform disaster assessment as soon as it's safe.
“It is anticipated that more than 600 homes will be evacuated,” Kelly said. “With an average of three people per home, we would anticipate a need of 1,800 cots. Usually only 10 percent of the people evacuated will have need of an emergency shelter because they stay with family and friends. Because of the scope of this evacuation many family and friends might also be evacuated and we're afraid there's going to be a greater need than usual.”
Approximately 20 volunteers are already going to help with the shelters and more will be called in, if needed.
“I've told them to bring a change of clothes with them just in case,” Kelly said.
Evacuees will also receive financial assistance in the form of debit cards.
“It empowers people to be part of their own recovery,” Kelly said. “Flooding is one the worst disasters because it takes so long for the water to recede.”
Those needing assistance may call the American Red Cross at 1-800-494-0275.