One of your basic needs following a disaster is finding shelter. To help make that feat easier for you, here are some community resources you can utilize.

Emergency Shelter

If you have an immediate need for shelter following a disaster, FEMA can help. To conduct a search for an open emergency shelter close to you, text SHELTER and your zip code to 4FEMA (43362). If you can, download FEMA’s mobile application. It will help you find open shelters near you.

Disaster Recovery Centers

Disaster Recovery Centers are another option for shelter. These are places to stay outside of the disaster zone which is where you’ll want/need to be. You have the option to stay with  friends or family in the area; however, if you don’t have anyone nearby, find a local DRC. To locate one, text DRC and your zip code to 43362. Each of these locations should be stocked with food, water and other supplies that will help you navigate the days following a disaster.


FEMA’s Individuals and Households program is a great resource to utilize when your home insurance won’t cover something. Keep in mind it is illegal to receive money and services from both your insurance company and FEMA. FEMA is a great ‘Plan B’ so to speak. There are two specific areas in which you can seek out help. Temporary Housing Assistance is well described on the website. It explains, “Financial assistance to homeowners or renters to rent a temporary place to live if your home is unlivable because of the disaster, and you have no insurance coverage for temporary housing. If no rental properties are available, as a last resort, a government housing unit may be provided in some areas.” Additionally, Lodging Expenses Reimbursement is described as, “Reimbursement of hotel expenses for homeowners or renters for short periods of time due to inaccessibility or utility outage, if not covered by insurance or any other program.” Contact FEMA to see which of their programs will best suit your unique situation.


If you’re in need of assistance with finding a rental because your home in uninhabitable and your housing needs aren’t covered by your insurance, FEMA can help with that too. They can assist you with a transitional place to stay if you were displaced by a disaster and living out of emergency shelters. Do you need help with home repair/replacement? This organization can help if your primary residence has been deemed unfit after a FEMA investigation. What about direct temporary housing? This is an option for someone whose residence was destroyed by a disaster and they have no other housing options within a reasonable commuting distance. Apply for assistance by clicking here.

A roof over your head can make a world of difference following a disaster. Make sure your basic needs are met so you can move forward effectively.

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