FEMA Offers Find-A-Shelter Text Message Tool

Irene #037 – 11:30 a.m.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Residents needing to search for a shelter may text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362.   This text message service is brought to you by FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

A total of five city shelters are currently open, including the new Virginia Beach Field House, 2157 Landstown Road.  The Virginia Beach Field House was built to withstand category 2 hurricane force winds, can accommodate more people than school buildings, and has a generator that can power the entire facility in case of a power outage.


As of 11:15 a.m., more than 425 people have checked into the open shelters:

  1. The Virginia Beach Field House, 2157 Landstown Road - General Shelter
  2. Birdneck Elementary School – 957 S. Birdneck Road - General Shelter
  3. Cox High School, 2425 Shorehaven Drive - General Shelter.
  4. Landstown High School - 2001 Concert Drive – General Shelter
  5. Salem High School - 1993 SunDevil Drive – Medically Friendly Shelter  

The public shelters are available to anyone in the City of Virginia Beach who feels they would be safer in a shelter than in their home or campground. Pets are not permitted in public shelters. 


Citizens should bring with them to the shelter enough emergency supplies for 3 days including:

  • Bottled Water
  • Canned or packaged foods
  • Manual Can Opener, Cooler
  • Paper plates, utensils, cups etc.
  • Portable flashlight, batteries
  • Battery powered radio, TV
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Folding chairs, etc.
  • Blanket, sleeping bag, pillow
  • Quiet games, toys, books, cards
  • Change of clothing/footwear
  • First aid kit: include medications
  • Infant, elderly, disabled items
  • Extra glasses or contacts
  • ID, car keys, credit card, cash

Citizens are responsible for their belongings. Valuables should be locked in your car, or kept with you at all times. The shelter is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items.

Medically Friendly Salem High School has the capacity to support a small number of persons that have basic medical needs.  The school also has expanded generator capacity to support electrically dependent needs.  There will be nurses available for medical monitoring only. If you have advanced medical needs (ventilator dependent, complex medical conditions, bedridden, etc.), this is not the place for you to shelter. Please consult with your local physician for recommendations on evacuating and sheltering in place.

There will be nurses that will be interviewing clients as they arrive so that the shelters do not exceed their capabilities of care. There are minimal supplies available and no medications available, so citizens that do decide to check in should bring all necessary medications and supplies.

For more information, please visit www.VBgov.com/beprepared.

For the most up-to-date information regarding Hurricane Irene citizens are urged to stay tuned to local television and radio stations as well as the outlets listed below:

  • VBgov.com
  • City’s VBTV Channels: Cox Cable 46, 47 & 48 and Verizon Cable 45, 46 & 47 will display emergency information including our City operational status and facilities closure notices
  • Television Channels: WTKR 3, WAVY 10 and WVEC 13
  • Local radio stations
  • Social Media Sites:
  • Citizen Services: 311 (landlines within City limits) or 385-3111; provides the City’s current operating condition status and facilities closure notices; please do not call 911 unless you have an emergency.

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