Disaster Shelters

Planning before a disaster is essential to your safety and well being. A critical part of this planning is knowing how and where you will go if you need to evacuate your home. The best and most comfortable place to shelter is away from the impact area with family and friends.

Primary Emergency Disaster Shelters

The Primary Emergency Disaster Shelters are located at:
  • Kings Fork High School
    351 Kings Fork Road
    Suffolk, VA 23434
  • Lakeland High School
    214 Kenyon Road
    Suffolk, VA 23434
  • Nansemond River High School
    3301 Nansemond Parkway
    Suffolk, VA 23434
Disaster Shelter, American Red Cross, City of Suffolk, Shelter Sign

ADA Compliant

These emergency shelters are ADA compliant.

Generator Power

Lakeland and Nansemond River High Schools have generator power for emergency lighting and to support the kitchens. Kings Fork High School is fully generator powered. Citizens who are medically dependent on electricity should shelter at Kings Fork High School.

Pet Friendly Shelter

Nansemond River High School is the City's "pet friendly" shelter.

Capacity of Shelters

Capacity of these 3 shelters is 2,000 evacuees. There are 11 additional shelters which can be opened as needed to house an additional 5,250 evacuees.

Evacuation Shelter Rules

  • You must sign in before being officially admitted into any shelter
  • "Shelter hopping" is not permitted
  • You are responsible for your belongings. Valuables should always be locked in your car or kept with you. The shelter is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items
  • Parents are responsible for controlling the actions of and knowing the whereabouts of their children. Children should not be left unattended.
  • If you have a medical condition or are taking medications, please notify the shelter registrar for referral to the nurse.
  • Noise levels should be kept at a minimum during all hours of the day. Quiet hours are observed between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
  • Please do your best to keep the shelter as neat and orderly possible.

What to Bring to a Shelter

Be sure to bring enough supplies to last at least three days for each family member.

  • bottled water
  • manual can opener and cooler
  • portable flashlight and batteries
  • folding chairs
  • cot/sleeping bag/blanket and pillow
  • first aid kit and any medications
  • ID, car keys, credit cards and cash
  • photocopies of important papers (i.e. insurance policies)
  • canned/packaged food
  • disposable plates, cups, utensils, etc.
  • battery powered radio, TV
  • change of comfortable clothing and shoes
  • quiet games, toys, books, cards
  • toiletries, glasses/contacts, hearing aids and dentures
  • special-diet foods
  • baby supplies (i.e. food/formula, diapers, etc.)

Prohibited Items

  • alcohol, drugs, other illegal substances
  • pets (except assistance dogs)
  • loud radios or televisions
  • smoking, matches, lighters
  • weapons of any kind (guns, knives, chains, etc.)

When to consider going to a shelter

  • You live in an evacuation zone where there likely will be flooding
  • You live in a mobile home or trailer
  • You know your building is unsafe and you cannot repair it before the storm
  • You use life-support equipment that requires electricity

If none of these conditions apply to you, you should think about staying put and fortifying your home, something experts call "sheltering in place." However, if your house is not prepared and fortified or windows or doors are not properly covered, even the weaker winds at the perimeter of a hurricane can cause serious damage.

Emergency Pet Friendly Shelter Rules and Regulations:

  • The Emergency Pet Friendly Shelter will only be accepting dogs and cats of the people that are staying at Nansemond River High School. Pet owners may not drop off their pets and evacuate elsewhere.
  • The Emergency Pet Friendly Shelter will not be accepting any exotic animals or aggressive animals.
  • Sick or contagious pets will not be accepted.
  • Owners shall pick up their animal(s) after checking out of the civilian shelter.
  • Food will be supplied by Suffolk Animal Control, please notify staff if your pet requires a prescription diet. Owners will be responsible for providing the prescription diet.
  • Please notify staff if your pet has any medical needs or requires medications. Owners will be allowed to administer medications.
  • Suffolk Animal Control staff and volunteers will be responsible for cleaning, feeding, and watering animals. Staff and volunteers are also responsible for walking dogs.
  • All dogs will be required to have collars.
  • Owners must bring proof of current rabies certificate for all animals.