Taking appropriate shelter is critical in times of disaster. Sheltering is appropriate when conditions require that you seek protection in your home, place of employment or other location when disaster strikes. Sheltering outside the hazard area could include staying with friends and relatives, seeking commercial lodging or staying in a mass care facility operated by disaster relief groups.

To effectively shelter, you must first consider the hazard and then choose a place in your home or other building that is safe for that hazard. For example, for a tornado, a room should be selected that is in a basement or an interior room on the lowest level away from corners, windows, doors and outside walls.The safest locations to seek shelter vary by hazard. Be Informed about the sheltering suggestions for each hazard.

There may be situations, depending on your circumstances and the nature of the disaster, when it's simply best to stay where you are and avoid any uncertainty outside by “sheltering in place.” Get more information about choosing to shelter in place or evacuate and creating a safe shelter. 

The length of time you are required to shelter may be short, such as during a tornado warning, or long, such as during a winter storm or a pandemic. It is important that you stay in shelter until local authorities say it is safe to leave. Additionally, you should take turns listening to radio broadcasts and maintain a 24-hour safety watch.

During extended periods of sheltering, you will need to manage water and food supplies to ensure you and your family have the required supplies and quantities. Read more about Managing Water and Managing Food.

Click here to find shelters in Suffolk County and to determine if you home is in an area that is predicted to flood during a hurricane.

Please note the Shelter Locator and Storm Surge Zone Mapping Tool is only compatible with desktop computers. When shelters are opened they will be prominently displayed on this web page. Users of other devices can determine if their homes are located within storm surge zones by downloading a PDF Map of the Storm Surge Zones in Suffolk County.

Map of Suffolk County with shelter locations - go to Shelter & Storm Surge Zone Mapping Tool

Click the image below to view the video:
What to expect when you go to a Red Cross Shelter?

Picture of a woman wearing a Red Cross hat and shirt - go to the video what to expect when you go to a Red Cross Shelter


Shelter Locator


Steve Bellone

John G. Jordan Sr.

Ed Schneyer
Director of the Office of Emergency Management

MAIN 631-852-4900
FAX 631-852-4922