Using FNSS Guidance and Establishing Accessible General Population Shelters
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Using FNSS Guidance and Establishing Accessible General Population Shelters Iowa Partners in Preparedness Conference June 22-23, 2011 PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Using FNSS Guidance and Establishing Accessible General Population Shelters Iowa Partners in Preparedness Conference June 22-23, 2011. Karin Ford, MSPS Iowa Department of Public Health. Photo courtesy of FEMA/Patsy Lynch. Kam Kennedy American Red Cross FEMA Region VII. Overview.

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Using FNSS Guidance and Establishing Accessible General Population Shelters Iowa Partners in Preparedness Conference June 22-23, 2011

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Using FNSS Guidance and Establishing Accessible General Population Shelters Iowa Partners in Preparedness ConferenceJune 22-23, 2011

Karin Ford, MSPS

Iowa Department of Public Health

Photo courtesy of FEMA/Patsy Lynch

Kam Kennedy

American Red Cross



  • Provide an overview of Functional Needs Support Services (FNSS) in general population shelters

  • Discuss Red Cross FNSS Guidance to Chapters

  • Provide examples of integration from recent responses and a response model for consideration

  • Discuss Iowa’s work with FNSS in general population shelters

  • How to make temporary changes for accessibility

Defining FNSS

  • Services that enable children and adults to maintain their usual level of independence in general population shelters. These services include:

    • Reasonable modifications to policies, practices and procedures

    • Durable Medical Equipment (DME)

    • Consumable Medical Supplies (CMS)

    • Personal Assistance Services (PAS)

    • Other goods and services as needed

Red Cross Vision for Accommodation

  • Safely accommodate individuals with disabilities and those with functional needs in our congregate shelters by working with partners and increasing and sustaining capacity within the Red Cross

  • Provide appropriate referrals to partners when reasonable accommodation is not possible

Red Cross – Vision for Accommodation

  • Exceptions:

    • Individuals who need:

      • Continuous medical supervision

      • Acute, life-sustaining medical care

    • Individuals who are a danger to themselves or others

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Under the ADA, the Red Cross must:

  • Make reasonable modifications to its policies, practices and procedures when necessary to deliver shelter services to clients with disabilities

  • Provide auxiliary aids and services to ensure effective communication

  • Welcome people with service animals

  • Ensure that shelter facilities are physically accessible for people who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices


  • Shelter Inventory

  • Community Planning

  • Response

Shelter Inventory

  • 56,000 + shelter inventory

  • Agreements updated annually

  • Facilities physically surveyed every three years

Integrated Community Planning

  • Work with all stakeholders to:

    • Review current plans

    • Conduct community gap analysis

    • Identify resources

    • Establish relationships with resource providers


  • Ensure Health Services (HS)/Disaster Mental Health (DMH) staff are present in shelters

  • Identify and address individual client needs

    • Use Initial Intake and Assessment Tool during registration

    • Consult with HS/DMH to address needs

    • HS and DMH will work directly with client to determine resources and next steps

    • New “scope of practice” model replacing nursing protocols

FNSS in Joplin

FAST Concept

  • Functional Assessment Support Teams

  • Model from California

  • Provides for deployment of local teams to conduct assessments within shelters and bring state resources to bear

  • Under consideration in Missouri

FNSS in Iowa

  • Karin Ford, MSPS IDPH

  • Working with Polk and Story counties to establish accessible shelters

  • Developing coalitions with faith based groups

  • Include providers in shelter management and case management

Emergency Management and Title II of the ADA

  • Requires that programs, services, and activities directly provided by state and local governments, and third parties must be accessible to people with disabilities

  • The ADA also requires making reasonable accommodations to policies, practices, and procedures when necessary to avoid discrimination against people with disabilities

Accessible General Population Shelter

  • Temporary features

  • Must meet ADA standards

  • Must be safe

  • Meet minimum accommodation

Four Main Areas



Common areas


Accessible Parking

  • ADA and Iowa Code

  • first spot must be van accessible

  • parking space 96 inches

  • van access 96 inches on right side

  • car access 60 inches

  • permanent upright signage

  • signage alerts to wider access aisle

Number of Accessible Spaces

  • 1 to 25 – 1

  • 26 to 50 -2

  • 51 to 75 -3

  • 76 to 100 -4

  • 101 to 150 -5

  • 151 to 200 -6

  • 201 to 300 -7

  • 301 to 400 -8

  • 401 to 500 -9

  • 501 to 1000

  • 2 percent of total

  • 1001 and over

  • 20 plus 1 for each 100 over 1000

Temporary Parking

  • Can use temporary signage

  • Three stalls = two accessible

    stalls with access aisle in middle

  • First space must be van accessible

  • Close to entrance

  • Flat surface

  • Remember 96 inches wide

  • Access aisles 60 or 96 inches

Temporary Parking

  • Orange Cone for the access aisle

  • place orange cone at the end

  • easily moved

  • blocks parking

  • temporary

  • curb cuts

Temporary Upright Signage

  • Print and laminate

  • Post on temporary stand

  • Post high enough


  • Can be temporary

  • Must meet ADA specifications

  • Handrails

  • No ski slopes


  • Exterior doors follow locality fire code

  • Automatic openers are not required

Entrance of the Shelter

  • Must be accessible

  • Sidewalk 36 inches wide

  • Can use temporary ramp

  • Signage to accessible entrance

Common Areas

  • Sleeping areas

  • Eating areas

  • All goods and services on one level unless working elevator

  • Alternate formats – signage, warning systems

  • Quiet room

  • Medicots

  • Transfer boards

Adequate space

  • 40 square feet

  • pwd need 80 square feet

  • medicots, higher wider

  • placed against a wall

    • stability

    • near exit


  • Both accessible

  • Toilet 17-19 inches from finished floor

    • Raised toilet seat

  • 5 foot radius and grab bars for transfer

    • Temporary grab bars

      • Must hold up to 250 lbs

  • Roll in showers with transfer benches

  • Handheld or adjustable shower features



  • Paper towels and soap can be on the counter

  • Hang lower dispensers or mirror

Service Animals

  • Perform a task to mitigate the effects of a disability

  • Miniature horses but subject to certain limitations

  • Is not a pet

  • Do not touch or give the animal food or treats

    without the permission of the owner

  • Wearing its harness, it is on duty

  • If you are asked to take the dog, hold the leash

    not the harness

  • Service animals travel with their human partner

  • Do not need to be registered or

    show proof

  • Can only remove if the service animal posses a threat

    or is not housebroke

Importance of Pre-Planning

  • Care facilities, group homes

  • Are already identified

  • Have Continuity of Operations Plans

  • Can become an asset to the response

Medical Shelters

  • Must be staffed with doctors, nurses and trained staff

  • Best case scenario, pre-established transfer locations and locations of the same level of care are secured before a disaster

  • Need medical shelters to not overwhelm the hospitals

How am I going to remember all this?

  • ADA homepage has toolkits and checklists –

  • FNSS Guidance

  • Department of Justice technical assistance -

    (800) 514-0301 (voice)

  • Call me 515-242-6336


Contact Information:

Karin Ford, MSPS


321 E 12th Street

Des Moines, Iowa



Kam Kennedy

American Red Cross

Special Representative to FEMA R-VII

9221 Ward Parkway

Kansas City, Missouri

(o) 816-283-7520

(bb) 816-808-3024

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