FEMA introduces updated text-to-shelter feature

(CNN)A safe place during a disaster is just a text away.The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, is launching an updated feature that would let Americans text to find an open shelter in the event of a major disaster.Users can text “shelter” and their ZIP code to 43362 to receive a list of nearby shelters within 200 miles of the ZIP code. Per an announcement from FEMA shared first with CNN, users “will be able to click on the shelter address inside the text message and view directions.”

“Disasters frequently disrupt communications systems which can leave survivors feeling overwhelmed and helpless when they are trying to locate shelters,” FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said in a statement. “Since texting capabilities are often unaffected during disasters, our updated Text to Shelter option is an easy and accessible way survivors can locate nearby shelters with a tap of a button. This feature will help keep our communities safe.”

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