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How Do I Find a Place to Stay?

This page contains resources if you have been evacuated or displaced and cannot return to your home.  Voluntary, faith-based, and community-based organizations may provide immediate short term housing with emergency shelters.  For longer term housing needs after a disaster FEMA may assist with several types of assistance.

Short Term Shelter

For immediate housing needs, the American Red Cross and other voluntary, faith-based, and community-based organizations set up shelters for people who cannot return to their homes. Listen to your radio or watch local media for the location of the nearest shelter.

You can use the normal text message functionality on your phone to search for open shelters: text SHELTER and a Zip Code to 43362 (4FEMA).  You may also contact 211, if it has been actived by your State.

Before you go to a shelter, always check with your local emergency management agency for availability and services.  Searching for shelters will not add you to a list. Think of it like doing a search on the Internet.

For health and space reasons, pets are generally not permitted in public emergency shelters. Contact your local emergency management office or your local animal shelter or humane society to see if there is a shelter set up to take pets in an emergency.

Remember if you are evacuating yourself and your family to have a Family Emergency Plan.

Housing Needs

For those who have short or long term housing needs, FEMA offers several types of Disaster Assistance, including services and grants to help people repair their homes and find replacement housing.

To be eligible:

  • The home must be the applicant's primary residence.
  • The home must have been destroyed, become uninhabitable, or be inaccessible as a result of the disaster.
  • The insurance covering the dwelling does not fully cover applicant's additional living expense and/or home repairs.
  • You must meet basic eligibility criteria for FEMA programs.

Apply for assistance

Disaster Housing Resource Center

Last Updated: 
03/26/2018 - 07:53