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Evacuation Shelter
11/18/2019 2:27:35 PM
Original Release
Last Major Release
An Evacuation Shelter serves the general population in an existing facility (or facilities), such as a school, community center, convention center, or church that the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) has temporarily converted for use as a shelter for disaster survivors.
Resource Category
Mass Care Services
Primary Core Capability
Mass Care Services
Secondary Core Capability
Resource Kind
Overall Function
An Evacuation Shelter: 1. Provides for the immediate needs of disaster survivors, typically for less than 72 hours 2. Provides basic life-sustaining services until the threat has passed, or until shelter residents transfer or transition to a Short-Term Shelter, including: a. Dormitory b. Basic food items or snacks c. Hydration d. Basic medical care e. Sanitation f. Disaster-related information
Composition and Ordering Specifications
1. The AHJ estimates the shelter resident capacity required and determines the facility accessibility requirements to support people with disabilities, access and functional support needs, and those with service and assistance animals 2. Facility planning considerations include estimating the maximum number of shelter residents expected and identifying a safe, accessible, and secure structure not at risk from an anticipated disaster 3. An Evacuation Shelter has a variety of staffing, equipment, and material resources 4. The requestor typically sources staffing for Evacuation Shelters locally; refer to the Sheltering Guidance Aid and Staffing Matrix on the National Mass Care Strategy (NMCS) website for sample staffing ratios 5. For equipment and material ordering guidance refer to the FEMA Commonly Used Sheltering Items & Services Listing (CUSI-SL)
Supporting Core Capabilities
Component Notes  
Shelter Residents Per FacilityNot Specified
Component Types
Type Attribute
Type 12,000 or more
Type 2500 – 1,999
Type 3250 – 499
Type 4249 or fewer
Area Per Facility1. Calculate dormitory space for Evacuation Shelters using an average of 20 sq. ft. per shelter resident. Americans with Disability Act (ADA)-related reasonable accommodation requirements may necessitate additional dormitory space for shelter residents with disabilities, access and functional needs, and those with service and assistance animals. 2. Other shelter activities and support areas may need additional space. 3. A potential shelter site may meet the general space and access needs, but may need supplemental sanitation capabilities, such as toilets and hand-washing stations.
Component Types
Type Attribute
Type 1Over 80,000 sq. ft.
Type 220,000 – 80,000 sq. ft.
Type 310,000 – 20,000 sq. ft.
Type 4Under 10,000 square feet (sq. ft.)
FEMA, NIMS 509: Access and Functional Needs Advisor
FEMA, NIMS 509: Fixed Site Security Team Supervisor
FEMA, NIMS 508: Public Health and Medical Team in a Shelter
FEMA, NIMS 509: Shelter Facilities Support Team Leader
FEMA, NIMS 509: Shelter Manager
FEMA, NIMS 508: Shelter Management Team
FEMA, NIMS 509: Shelter Resident Services Team Leader
FEMA, National Incident Management System (NIMS), October 2017
FEMA, Commonly Used Sheltering Items & Services Listing, August 2011
FEMA, Guidance on Planning for Integration of Functional Needs Support Services in General Population Shelters, November 2010
National Mass Care Council, Shelter Guidance Aid and Shelter Staffing Matrix, October 2010
National Mass Care Council, Multi-Agency Sheltering/Sheltering Support Planning Template, October 2014
US Department of Justice, Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Checklist for Emergency Shelters, July 2007
US Department of Justice, Guidance on the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, September 2010