People with access and functional needs can (and must) be accommodated in general population emergency shelters when given the proper support. Meeting the needs of people with access and functional needs requires proper planning pre-incident and proper coordination during the incident. Functional Assessment Service Teams (FASTs) will help assess people with access and functional needs and assist them by getting what they need to stay in a shelter.
FAST in Pierce County
Pierce County Department of Emergency Management, in conjunction with Pierce County Human Services and TACID (Tacoma Area Coalition of Individuals with Disabilities), developed a FAST pilot program to expand the California model. This will move Washington one step closer to FEMA's concept of Whole Community by integrating people with access and functional needs into general emergency shelters.
New Member training is generally held twice a year at the Pierce County Emergency Operations Center in Tacoma. Training attendees need to fill out the FAST application one week prior to the scheduled training. If you have any questions, please call Serina McWha at (253) 798-2203.