Functional Needs Support Services (FNSS)

BCFS EMD developed FEMA’s Guidance on Planning for Integration of Functional Needs Support Services in General Population Shelters. The urgency surrounding FEMA’s new guidance has been elevated as jurisdictions are coming under fire for not meeting legal requirements that persons with disabilities have equitable access to all programs and services including those associated with emergency management. In particular, FEMA released their guidance document detailing operation guidance for all general population shelters to be prepared to provide care for individuals with disabilities, functional and access needs in the most integrated setting.

In response to a lawsuit brought against the City of Los Angeles, the city has contracted BCFS EMD for a three-year project that will redevelop LA’s emergency operations plans to ensure adequate planning and response capabilities to meet the functional and access needs of individuals with disabilities during an emergency. This project extends beyond sheltering, to include all aspects of emergency management, planning and response.

Since its release in Nov. 2010, BCFS EMD has trained planners, responders and officials in all 50 U.S. states and territories on FNSS. The U.S. Department of Justice regularly refers jurisdictions to BCFS EMD for assistance in integrating FNSS into their plans. Jurisdictions, therefore, can be confident that their plans will meet the “gold seal” of FNSS compliance.

Contact BCFS EMD at 1-800-830-2246 to learn how we can support your jurisdiction's efforts to effectively and efficiently integrate FNSS into existing plans. Our experts are also available to speak at your next conference or symposium.