FEMA National Shelter System Fact Sheet

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The FEMA National Shelter System (NSS) is a comprehensive, Web-based database created to support Federal, State and local government agencies and voluntary organizations responsible for Mass Care and Emergency Assistance. The FEMA NSS allows users to identify, track, analyze, and report on data for virtually any facility associated with the congregate care of people and/or household pets following a disaster.


  • Is a planning as well as an operational tool that provides Federal, State and local emergency managers with a tool to manage and share sheltering information and feeding activities.
  • Provides a comprehensive mapping program that allows emergency managers to create customized maps that show where facilities are located in relation to attributes including: natural hazards, evacuation routes, and critical infrastructure.
  • Helps emergency managers to determine the capabilities and capacities of each facility; provides detailed information on over 172 data points, including basic information such as kitchens, number of showers, pre- and post-evacuation sheltering capacity and whether or not the facility is household-pet friendly.
  • Provides standardized and customizable reports.


  • The FEMA NSS became operational in June 2009. Since then, several States have adopted the system.
  • States and local jurisdictions can access the FEMA NSS through their FEMA Regional Points of Contact (POCs).
  • FEMA is committed to further the development of the FEMA NSS with new enhancements currently under development.
  • Future releases of the FEMA NSS will enable States to customize the open source software and host the program on their own servers.
  • Computer-based and classroom training has been developed and is accessible through the FEMA Regional POC. State agencies should contact their FEMA Regional Individual Assistance office for additional information.

FEMA HQ Points of Contact:


To request training or additional information, please call the NSS Helpline at 202-212-1640 or email at esf-06-mass-care-1@dhs.gov.

Last Updated: 
02/18/2015 - 12:18
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