Regional Emergency Shelter System

If you can’t leave the area and staying at home is not an option, Barnstable County operates 6 regional emergency shelters that can be activated if and when officials determine that the situation warrants. It is important to emphasize that these shelters have to be ACTIVATED for an emergency; they are not open and operational at all times.

The map below shows regional shelters and whether they are open or closed. A red circle indicates the shelter is CLOSED. A green circle indicates the shelter is OPEN.

What You Should Know about Emergency Shelters:

  1. Come Prepared! You should arrive with at least three days’ worth of essentials, including medications.
  2. Shelters provide for basic needs ONLY; a secure facility, a cot to sleep on, food and water, basic first aid, and functional assistance. The stay at a shelter is not a vacation, nor is it a hotel or a pharmacy. It is not a cruise ship but rather a lifeboat. It is up to you to bring the essentials including extra clothing, medications, and any medical equipment such as walkers, wheelchairs, and oxygen concentrators.
  3. Caretakers: If you live at home with the assistance of a caretaker, the caretaker must come to the shelter with you. If you have a visiting nurse, make sure you bring your medical supplies and let your nurse know which shelter you will be staying at.
  4. Infants and Babies: If you are bringing infants, babies, or toddlers to a shelter make sure you bring formula, food, diapers, wipes, changes of clothing, toys, and a “pack ‘n play” or portable crib and bedding.
  5. Considerations for Pets: If you have a pet—a dog or cat, a bird perhaps—the emergency shelter system supports the care of your pet(s) while you are in the shelter. You must check your pet(s) in first at the pet shelter before checking yourself into the human shelter. Please bring all your pet supplies to the shelter except for crates, which are provided by the shelter. You cannot sleep with your pet(s). Once your pet(s) are in the shelter, you will be able to see them during morning, afternoon, and evening visiting hours.
  6. Shelters will be opened strategically, based on NEED. The reason every town on the Cape doesn’t have its own shelter is because of the expense and lack of volunteer resources to staff 15 separate shelters across the Cape. Volunteers deliver the vast majority of services provided at the six regional shelters. These volunteers work with groups including the American Red Cross, the Cape Cod Medical Reserve Corps, CCDART, LCAST, Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES), and AmeriCorps Cape Cod. Learn more about these volunteer agencies here.