National Shelter System Fact Sheet

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The FEMA National Shelter System is a coordinated nationwide database of emergency shelter information where thousands of profiles of potential shelter resources, as well as virtually any type of facility associated with the care of disaster survivors, are maintained.

FEMA, working in partnership with the American Red Cross, used lessons learned to develop a new easy to use system that includes operational data to assist emergency management professionals in times of disaster and for planning purposes. The system has the ability to track virtually any type of facility used in response to disasters.

The new system also includes an enhanced GIS mapping function that will allow emergency management professionals to see in real time, shelter locations, critical infrastructure, flood plains, fault lines, and other geospatial elements.

Additionally, FEMA is working to ensure the system is interoperable with the Red Cross National Sheltering System and several other commercial emergency management programs, allowing data to be shared between systems, eliminating the need to enter data in multiple applications. This system is available to emergency management professionals with a demonstrated need for this information. Use of the system is free of charge and accessible from any internet connection, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In addition to general population shelters, the system includes:

  • Medical shelters, shelter-in-place locations
  • Household pet shelters, kitchens
  • Points of Distribution (POD’s), warehouses
  • Warming, cooling, and respite centers
  • Embarkation, Debarkation, and Reception processing sites
  • Any type of shelter or facility related to the management of the people affected by the operation.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Last Updated: 
07/24/2014 - 16:00
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