Disaster-Related Hotlines, Shelters, and Resources

Help is available to you after a disaster, often immediately. Always check for resources specific to your state, territory, or area in addition to checking the options provided on this page.

Page last updated: 05/22/2023


Hotlines and online resources are available for finding free legal help, getting crisis counseling, learning how to assist people with special needs, and more.

Disaster Recovery Centers

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) opens up Disaster Recovery Centers in an area after the federal government declares a disaster there. These centers provide help to disaster survivors, including help applying for federal aid.


When you know a potential disaster is approaching, it is best to start identifying the location of shelters before the disaster hits. The American Red Cross and your state or local emergency management agencies should be able to tell you where they are.

Local news channels can be a good source for finding out which shelters are open and whether any of them are accepting pets or providing other special services. For example, some shelters may be specially prepared to accommodate older evacuees or individuals with disabilities.